East Porterville is almost out of water and it's starting to lose people

PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KFSN) -- Tulare County is noticing a new trend. People are starting to pack up and leave East Porterville as wells continue to go dry.

East Porterville is almost out of water and it's starting to lose people.

"A lot of them are saying I can't continue to do this," said Carolina Gamboa who is with the CSET Drought Resource Center.

Gamboa says people who rent homes with dry wells are having the most trouble, "They're struggling a little more because they're not able to get the water tanks, so they're moving elsewhere."

Across the street, there are broken dreams -- a home, boarded up with dead grass. Yolanda Frausto lives about a mile away and she's trying to hang on.

"Pretty much live day to day," Frausto added, "hoping we're gonna get water."

Tulare County has plans to deliver. It's drilling a new well for the city on the west side to get water on the east side. Frausto isn't sure if it'll help her yet, but it could.

Frausto said, "Hopefully everything changes, gotta hope for the best."

Denise England is with the county. She says Frausto's home is in a good spot for the well, sitting close to city water pipes, already buried beneath the street. All she needs is a line to connect but thousands of other people aren't so lucky.

"These 115 homes are along an existing water main, in other areas, there's not a water main, the infrastructure is not there," England said.

It'll take two months to get the new well online. Meanwhile, the struggle for water continues and some say, it's only a matter of time before East Porterville turns into a ghost town.

The county says it would take 4 or 5 more wells to connect every home in East Porterville to the city's water supply.

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