The Madera County of Supervisors voted to tighten watering restrictions by unanimously approving an emergency ordinance, which went into effect Tuesday, March 18.
While this ordinance doesn't impact private water companies, such as Hillview Water or individuals with privately-owned wells, it does affect those Mountain Area residents living in districts and service areas using county water systems, which includes the following, along with the number of connections:
Lake Shore (46), Marina View (76), North Fork (155), Teaford Meadows (62), Sunset Ridge (26), Still Meadow (34), Miami Creek Knolls (27), Ahwahnee (94), Sierra Highlands (25), Dillon Estates (37), Coarsegold South (43), Quartz Mountain (120), Indian Lakes (457) and Wishon Cove (32).
These districts are allocated watering days, based on addresses: even-numbered addresses water on Wednesdays and Sundays; odd-numbered addresses water Tuesdays and Saturdays. Should a resident break the ordinance, a $75 fine will be issued for the first offense. Subsequent offenses can go as high as $175.
"Even though residents with private wells or under private water companies are not affected by this emergency ordinance, we encourage everyone to participate and conserve water to help get us all through this drought," Madera County Road Commissioner Johannes Hoevertsz said.
This decision was reached following a presentation, given by county engineer Kheng Vang, depicting the effects of the drought locally. Ideas for possible solutions included possible moratoriums on new well drilling, placing water bond measures before voters for approval, and assessing additional fees according to the amount of groundwater landowners pump.
"We had nearly 250 people show up to discuss water challenges and opportunities from both valley and the foothill communities," Madera County District 5 Supervisor and Board Chair Tom Wheeler said. "Farmers, water districts, and locals came to share and brainstorm with their local leadership. This is the first of many conversations that need to happen around water, especially groundwater. If we do not start arranging to manage our groundwater on a local level, the state will."
For useful and up-to-date information, visit Madera County Road Department's Facebook page, California Drought Resources information on Madera County Road Department's Facebook page.