Editorial:Time running out for drought relief

Tulare County officials said last week the state has indicated it is cutting off its Disaster Assistance on June 30, just two months from now.
What that means is the county and non-profits will no longer be reimbursed for their efforts to deliver both bottled water and install and fill large water tanks at homes where the well went dry.
According to county officials, more than 400 residents of the county still rely on that large tank to supply their home with running water and most of those also rely on bottled water for drinking.
Jerry Brown this month declared the drought over in California, with the exception of Tulare County and three other counties.
It has been estimated at one time the state was spending more than $600,000 a month on the water relief program just in Tulare County.
That promoted the state to come up with a permanent solution in East Porterville — the poster child of the drought in California because of the concentration of domestic wells which went dry there.
That effort is about 50 percent complete and nearly all of those who had lost their well, are now connected to the City of Porterville’s water system.
It has been estimated a new well cost about $27,000 and to keep filling the large tank is about $600 a month.
We agree the state must put an end to the relief effort at some point, but we would also like to see help for those who need to drill a new well in the form of low-interest loans or grants, and we’d encourage the state to consider stretching funding to help those areas where a permanent solution is in the works, but won’t be completed by June 30.

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