Becky Keck, foreground, accepted bottled water from Donna Johnson, left. Donna Johnson realized that East Porterville was in big trouble when well after well in the parched town began to go dry. She decided to do something and now is busy each and every day delivering water.
14 Fotos

Living with drought

Becky Keck, foreground, accepted bottled water from Donna Johnson, left. Donna Johnson realized that East Porterville was in big trouble when well after well in the parched town began to go dry. She decided to do something and now is busy each and every day delivering water. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Dalila Orozco, 6, bathes in a water drum with water donated by Tulare County. Orozco’s family ran out of water months ago. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Clint Johnson’s boys Evan, 9, and Nick, 12, behind him, help fill a barrel with nonpotable water provided so East Porterville residents can at least bathe and flush their toilets.  (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Donna Johnson, 72, took it upon herself to collect donations of bottled water for area residents who no longer have running water.  (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

Donna Johnson lugs bottled water for some of the hundreds around East Porterville whose wells have gone dry. She realized others might need help after her own well went dry in June.

 (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Dalila Orozco, 6, gets an outdoor bath with the help of mother Yuliana Montiel and county-donated water. Their well went dry months ago and Montiel lost her job picking grapes because of the crop’s decline.  (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Donna Johnson asks J.E. Rodriguez about his water needs and whether he has contacted Tulare County to get a water tank, available for $30. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

A family walks to school in drought-ravaged East Porterville. Some children have been showing up at school unbathed because they no longer have running water at home.

 (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Consuelo Mosqueda, left, welcomes Donna Johnson, who has been delivering her bottled water to drink. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
East Porterville, which was already struggling when groundwater levels plunged by 60 feet or more in spots. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Manuel Domingues, 84, has been spending much of his time trying to fix his well’s pump. “He still doesn’t want to believe that the ground is out of water,” says his girlfriend, who has been bringing him water. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Many people have left their homes in East Porterville since the drought caused their private wells to run dry. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
The East Porterville lot where a mobile home once stood is now parched and vacant. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Sisters Becky Keck, foreground, and Rhonda Altermatt accept bottled water from Donna Johnson, left. They’ve been without water for nearly 3 months. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
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