California Drought: 17 Communities Could Run Out Of Water In 60-120 Days

As California’s drought deepens, 17 communities across the state are in danger of running out of water within 60 to 120 days, state officials said Tuesday. In some communities, wells are running dry. In others, reservoirs are nearly empty. Some have long-running problems that predate the drought. The water systems, all in rural areas, serve from 39 to 11,000 residents. They range from the tiny Lompico County Water District in Santa Cruz County to districts that serve the cities of Healdsburg and Cloverdale in Sonoma County. And it could get a lot worse. “As the drought goes on, there will be more that probably show up on the list,” said Dave Mazzera, acting drinking-water division chief for the state Department of Public Health. Most of the affected water districts have so few customers that they can’t charge enough money to pay for backup water supplies or repair failing equipment, leaving them more vulnerable to drought than large urban areas.

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