CHICO – Butte County announced a new program Wednesday that is expected to provide up to 5,000 gallons of water per household to residents with storage tanks, at least in its first phase.
In the second phase, the county will begin providing temporary storage tanks to those who do not already have one, according to a press release issued Wednesday by the county.
The program is being headed by the Butte County Office of Emergency Management and is meant to provide water access for those facing water insecurity.
Services provided through the program will be free to those who qualify.
Those interested in applying can do so by going to arcg.is/0qn5rO0.
Beyond standard information such as name and address, the application asks for land ownership status, such as tenant, landlord or owner, as well as the number of people in the household and what water issue is being faced.
Issues listed are dry well, reduced water pressure, intermittent water pressure and pumping air, muddy water or sand.
Residents can also access the application by calling the Butte County Office of Emergency Management at 552-3333, a number that potential applicants can use to get more information, or by visiting the office itself at 25 County Center Drive, Suite 213 in Oroville.
The latest drought conditions, according to the California Department of Water Resources, show that more than half of Butte County, particularly the western half, has fallen into extreme drought conditions. Nearly all of Glenn County is considered to be in an extreme drought.
DWR’s definition of extreme drought consists of the following:
- Livestock is in need of an expensive supplemental feed.
- Livestock animals are being sold.
- Fruit trees are budding early.
- Fire season starts to last year-round and burn bans are implemented.
- There is not enough water for the needs of agriculture, urban areas and wildlife.
- Hydropower is restricted.
- Farmers have to start irrigating in the winter.
Some parts of California, such as Fresno, have entered into an exceptional drought, which is a level above extreme.
Lake Oroville has been seeing some lower levels in recent weeks in no small part because of the lack of rainfall and severe drought conditions.
The California Department of Water Resources provided an update on the lake’s conditions and monitoring.
According to the update, the lake was reportedly at just 52 percent of its total capacity as of June 16 and was at 67 percent of its historical average.
As of 1 pm Thursday, the lake’s water level was at 761.54 feet.