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Map Details Where Water Wells Are Going Dry

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Sonora, CA — An increasing number of water wells are going dry in Tuolumne County, similar to the last significant drought experienced seven years ago.

The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to continue a “Local State of Emergency” due to the drought.

During a presentation at today’s meeting, Office of Emergency Services Coordinator Dore Bietz noted that the county is looking into potential state grants and funding to provide potable water to those in need. She noted that many emergency water tanks still remain in place from the last drought, so they would simply need to get the water transported in those locations.

Bietz noted that there could be more challenges next year, even if there is a relatively wet winter.

Adding, “Most of the data, and most of the experts in this particular field, statewide, are saying that we may get by, but really we are going to see the (bigger) impact next year. So, the process that we put in place to assist, and that will be up to the board about what we are willing to provide for individuals or businesses, will have to be discussed at a later date.”

For those already impacted, Community Development Director Quincy Yaley states, “If they are experiencing a well failure, or issue with their well, those applications are obviously fast-tracked. We’re moving those applications through, in an emergency sort of manner, to the front of the line.”

A map presented by Bietz at the meeting notes that so far this year there have been 19 failing and 13 dry wells. In 2014 there were 31 confirmed failures and in 2015 there 44. (Click on View Photo)