Drinking Water Well Principles

From left, residents Tania Ramirez, Guillermina Avila, and Leonicio Ramirez are the first residents to receive water through a water distribution system in East Porterville, Calif. on August 19, 2016. Hundreds of East Porterville residents have gone without a sustainable water supply since their properties’ wells went dry during California’s five-year drought.  Engineers at the California Department of Water Resources have led the way toward sustainability by designing a distribution system that eventually will deliver water from the City of Porterville to 1,800 homes in its neighboring community to the east. The first connection was made on the 19th, and dozens more are expected to be completed in the coming weeks.  FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Nearly 85% of Californians rely on groundwater for some portion of their drinking water supply.

Governor Gavin Newsom signed the April 21, 2021 State of Emergency Proclamation after two dry years to prioritize the protection of public health, safety and the environment, and to prepare for and mitigate the effects of drought conditions. Executive Order Action 11 specifically identifies:

“To ensure the potential impacts of drought on communities are anticipated and proactively addressed, the Department of Water Resources, in coordination with the Water Board, shall develop groundwater management principles and strategies to monitor, analyze, and minimize impacts to drinking water wells.

If you are currently experiencing a household water shortage or your well has gone dry, please report this to the State's MyDryWaterSupply website:

The Department of Water Resources, in coordination with the State Water Resources Control Board, had released the Final Groundwater Management and Drinking Water Well Principles and Strategies including an Implementation Matrix.

June 29 & 30

Listening Sessions

Three identical public listening sessions were hosted to gather early input on the development of drinking water well principles and strategies to address community needs, as part of the April 21 Drought Executive Proclamation Item 11.

July 22

Draft Concept Workshop

A Draft Concepts Public Workshop was hosted to present the early input received on the development of drinking water well principles and strategies and to received additional public comments, as part of the April 21 Drought Executive Proclamation Item 11.


Draft Principles and Strategies Released

The State released the Draft principles and strategies on September 8 and held a 30 day public comment period through October 7, 2021.


30-day Public Comment Period and Webinar

The State hosted a 30 day public comment period and public webinar to review the draft principles and strategies and accept formal public comments. The public webinar was held with live Spanish translation.


Release Final Principles and Strategies

The State released final principles and strategies in December 2021. The current materials can be found under the Current Activities Tab.

Fall 2021 & 2022

Follow-on Guidance and Funding

As identified the State will develop and provide follow-on guidance from different programs, as well as complementary funding to support the development of solutions related to drinking water well impacts.

Contact us

To contact our office with questions or public comments, please email us at: sgmps@water.ca.gov