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East Porterville Water Supply Project

Sign-Up for Phase 2 Opens January 2017

In early 2017, approximately 800 homes will be eligible to sign up for a free connection to the City of Porterville’s municipal water system during Phase 2 of the East Porterville Water Supply Project. Community members are invited to a public meeting on February 22 to learn more about Phase 2 sign-ups.

The project expands the City of Porterville’s water distribution system into East Porterville by laying new distribution lines to which East Porterville homes can connect. As of December 2016, about ten miles of water distribution lines have been successfully installed, which is about 80 percent of the anticipated project total.

Phase 1 Homes to Connect by Early Spring 2017

Officials working on the project had hoped to connect the first phase of homes (about 300) to City water by the end of 2016. Due to an unanticipated need to acquire specialized parts to supplement the City’s water supply, the project is experiencing a slight delay. Phase 1 homes should expect to be connected by early spring of 2017.  Phase 1 sign-ups closed on November 8, 2016.

Guillermina Ramirez pours water from her faucet for the first time in several years.


The unincorporated community of East Porterville, in the heart of Tulare County, is considered “ground zero” of the drought. Hundreds of households lost access to clean, running water as a result of dry wells during the historic drought, which began in 2012. The community continues to face deteriorating water quality from increasing nitrate contamination in drying wells.

The State of California has been delivering bottled drinking water and temporary water tanks at a cost of $650,000 per month. In an effort to provide a more permanent, safe, and reliable solution, state agencies have been working with local officials and non-governmental.


These numbers were updated December 14, 2016.

  • 51 homes have been connected to City of Porterville water system and are receiving water.
  • 293 homeowners are eligible for connection in Phase 1.
  • 238 homeowners have completed all three steps of the sign-up process.
  • 590 homeowners have signed their ESA (see process below).
  • 800 homes (approximately) are eligible to be connected in second phase of the project beginning in 2017.
  • 59 homeowners have declined the offer to receive a free connection to the City of Porterville's water supply.

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