VALLEY DROUGHT 2014 - Want To Drill A Well? Get Ready To Wait

98% of Madera County's water is ground water and that makes the county reliant on wells. However, Valley Drought 2014 is so severe there's a 6 month to 12 month wait list to drill new wells. {} Tony Englund recently built a new well at his home. "We're trying to do our best but we're trying to keep what we have going," says Tony Englund who live in Madera Ranchos. He says some of his neighbors have run out of water waiting to replace their wells. "Everybody around here is really trying to be responsible," adds Englund, "The drought is affecting us pretty bad, a lot of us have cut back on out lawns, and are trying to conserve." The well waiting list is also a problem for Madera County. The county is planning on building several replacement wells, but when the county engineer searched for companies that are interested in the projects, only one responded. "It's pretty bad," says Madera County Engineer Kheng Vang, "We are in the spotlight when it comes to ground water. We also have subsidence where ground water levels are dropping." In Madera Ranchos ground water levels have dropped 155-feet since the 1980's. Without wells the only thing the county can do is conserve. "Pray for rain, hopefully everybody can get out and come up with a solution for everyone," adds Englund. The drought is so severe in Madera County that there is a stage three water conservation rule in effect. People who live in Madera County are not allowed to water on Monday, Thursday and Friday. There is also washing down paved driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks. No one is allowed to us a water hose with a restricting nozzle. Also, water leaks must be repaired immediately. If people don't follow the water conservation fines they will get a ticket. The fine for a first violation is $75, $125 for a second violation and $175 for a third violation.