Be Well Prepared
As California continues to experience climate-driven weather extremes, DWR is providing tools and resources to help communities that are dependent on groundwater prepare for potential impacts to household water supplies, which include domestic well owners and residents that use and maintain their own well.
Through our Be Well Prepared program, DWR is empowering domestic drinking water well users by providing the information and resources they need to maintain a safe and reliable household water supply.
To Be Well Prepared, every well owner should:
- Know local groundwater conditions, including groundwater levels and water quality
- Understand any potential risks to the well’s water supply
- Know well construction details, such as age, depth, condition, and pump details
- Know how to maintain a drinking water well, and how to test and treat well water
- Know where to get help if a well fails
The following links will help well owners, users, and water managers understand local groundwater conditions.
- California’s Groundwater Live provides the latest groundwater information and conditions
- This web-based dashboard utilizes many of the same data sets from DWR’s California’s Groundwater (Bulletin 118) and the California Natural Resources Agency Open Data Platform
- California Water Watch provides current local and statewide water conditions
- Dry Well Susceptibility Tool provides information about areas where domestic water wells may be susceptible to going dry to facilitate proactive planning for potential well outages
Every well owner should have their water system inspected annually, prior to the dry summer months.
- Wellowner provides tips and information about well maintenance and how to find a professional well contractor
- Private Well Owners Should Prepare for Extreme Drought provides the steps a well owner should take to be sure their well is prepared for drought conditions
Annual testing of drinking water wells is recommended by the U.S. EPA.
- Protect Your Home's Water | US EPA provides information on testing well water including frequency, reasons to test, where to test and how to treat
Even well-prepared households may experience a dry well. Use the resources below if the well has gone dry.
- What Do I Do if My Well Goes Dry? (English, Spanish, Hmong) provides four initial steps to take if you think your well has gone dry
- Emergency Drought Contacts by County use this link to find your County Emergency Drought Contact for emergency drinking water support, or contact your county Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services
- In the counties of San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Mariposa, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Kern: first call Self-Help Enterprises (a service provider) at 559-802-1685 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Self-Help Enterprises partners with these nine counties to provide drought emergency services:
- GSA Map Viewer – Department of Water Resources locate your local Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA), if applicable, to find out if they have a local drinking water mitigation program
- Drought Information and Updates State Water Board resource that provides emergency drought contacts by county
- Dry Well Reporting System DWR’s online system for reporting incidents of household drinking water wells that have gone dry due to drought impacts
- Small Community Drought Relief Program financial and technical assistance for small communities facing water supply challenges
- Drinking Water Assistance for Households | California State Water Resources Control Board State Water Board resource that provides drinking water assistance for households (bottled water, water tanks, well replacement, etc.)
Articles and Videos
- May 17, 2023: Press Release – DWR Launces Be Well Prepared Program
- June 6, 2022: DWR Encourages Counties, Communities to be ‘Well Prepared’ to Support Dry Drinking Water Wells
- Wellowner Water Quality Testing National Ground Water Association (NGWA) Test, Tend, and Treat water quality video
- What Do I Do if My Well Goes Dry? (English, Spanish, Hmong)
- DWR Drinking Water Well Resources
- Drinking Water Well Principles and Strategies
- Drought Resilience Interagency & Partners (DRIP) Collaborative
- Save Our Water