By Riamy Beuscher, communications intern
Okieville is such a small area that most folks cannot find the community on a map. Officially named Highland Acres, residents began settling in Okieville during the 1930s Dust Bowl when thousands of “Okies” and “Arkies” left the Midwest for the green fields of California.
Fast forward to today. Thousands of wells have been drying up throughout the San Joaquin Valley since the drought began five years ago and Okieville, located in Tulare County, is the hardest hit region. A local nonprofit, Self-Help Enterprises, counted roughly a quarter of Okieville households that were without water.
Self-Help Enterprises has worked diligently to secure $2.6 million in emergency drought funding for Okieville. The funds will pay for the construction of new infrastructure to ensure all the homes in the community have access to water. The final well is expected to be completed in August 2017.