More than 70 Tehama County households have signed up for free water deliveries through a North Valley Community Foundation (NVCF) drought relief program in just two months, and more help is available, announced the foundation last week.
Residents in Tehama and Glenn counties whose household wells have gone dry can sign up for the program, which NVCF operates after receiving a $5 million grant from the state Department of Water Resources.
To apply, residents of Tehama and Glenn counties should first report their dry wells online, then fill out an application. Links to do both are provided at nvcf.org/drought-relief.
Brian Barnes’ home just north of Corning was hooked up to a water tank and drinking water deliveries last week under the NVCF program. It’s the first time he’s had reliable water for his family of four since his well went dry two years ago.
“We’re super appreciative. It was very easy. We put the paperwork in on Thursday and they hooked it up on Monday,” said Barnes. “It has been a huge help.”
For the past two years, he has taken a 400-gallon tank to a friend’s ranch weekly to fill it up. Running water is something he doesn’t take for granted anymore.
“It was definitely life changing to not be able to flush the toilet or brush your teeth, to have to let the dishes pile up,” said Barnes. “I’ve always conserved but it makes me look at water in a whole different light when you don’t have it.”
Since the program’s inception and through December last year, NVCF has delivered 2,792,750 gallons of nonpotable water and 86,044 gallons of drinking water.
The program provides up to 60 gallons of drinking water delivered each month. For non-potable uses, like laundry and showers, the program delivers up to 2,500 gallons of water per month. Residents who don’t have water tanks can have a large tank and pump installed free as part of the program.
Businesses and livestock operations do not qualify for the program, which is designated for homes only. There must be an occupied house on the property, with a well or spring on the property that is dry.
The drought program now services 204 homes in Glenn County and 74 in Tehama County. NVCF has been running the program in Glenn County since 2021 and in Tehama County since December.
Though some residents have left the program in Glenn County because they have dug new wells, nobody has left the program this winter because their wells were replenished by rain.
“We had a busy start when our Tehama County program was first announced in December and hustled to get everyone hooked up,” said Jody Samons, NVCF drought project coordinator. “Our electricians, our tank installers and our water haulers are incredible. They always go above and beyond to quickly help relieve that stress of living in a home with no water.”
For more information on the program, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-230-4153.