Tulare County preparing in case water system fails

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Tulare County Office of Emergency Services has around 5,000 gallons of water ready to go at just one of their stockpiles.

"We have no idea how much we're going to need this summer," said Andrew Lockman, the agency's director.

Lockman says they're just trying to be prepared. Pallets of water will be sent out to communities if their water system fails. Each person will be given one gallon for every day the system is expected to be out. There's no telling when the next system in the county will falter.

"We're trying to get ahead of it as best we can and to keep replenishing that inventory every chance we get," said Lockman.

Other communities like East Porterville, where hundreds of wells have run dry, require more long-term solutions. The county will be sending more bottled drinking water out of their stockpiles soon.

"We'd love for the drought to be over and for people to not be in that situation," said Lockman.

Tulare County has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars making sure people have access to water during the drought. They do get reimbursed for some of the expenses from the state, but this emergency is far from over.

"Really it's not a great feeling knowing that we're going to be in the same position or worse than we were last year," said Lockman.

Which is why they'll keep saving water, hoping they have enough. The county has received water donations from some companies. The county says anyone wanting to donate water should give them a call.

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