Valley Drought 2014: Community Running Out Of Water

Madera County has issued stage four water shortage contingency measures for Madera Ranchos. Stage 4 is the highest water-saving level and it means people in the community cannot water their lawns until further notice.

Rholene Wigierg, who lives in Madera Ranchos, says she'll follow the new rules and stop watering her lawn. Wigierg says she's noticed on watering days that the water pressure in her home is pretty low.

"It's terrible, just a little dribble runs out," says Rholene Wigierg, "It's not worth running the machines because it takes forever. I wait until the water pressure is better and then I run them."

The Madera County Engineer says the water pressure was so low on watering days that state standards were not being met. The county engineer also says that if stage 4 water conservation rules weren't implemented than Madera County would have been fined by the state.

In addition to not watering outside, people in Madera Ranchos can't fill their pools and hot tubs with water from the area. The county's goal is to have the community cut water use by 25% to 50%.

"We have to do what we have to do," adds Wigierg, "I mean we have to have water."

Part of the problem is one of Madera Ranchos four wells dried up and it won't be replaced until next year. The Madera County Engineer says people probably can't water their lawns until the end of September.

The new water conservation rules will be enforced. If you get caught watering your lawn you'll get a $75 dollar-fine the first time, a $125 dollar-fine the second time, and if you're caught again the fine is $175 dollars.