Valley Drought 2014: Man Blames Farmers For Dry Water Wells
By Erik Rosales
MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KMPH) — A Madera County man says his well is dry and now his family has no water to bathe or drink.Scott Wilburn's home sits just a few yards from a canal where water is being pumped.He says his well is dry because the grower is over pumping.Wilburn says, "I just know the pumps been running for at least 4 days straight, and a lot of water is running down the canal. I don't know if he's selling it to another farmer or just helping one out or watering another field, all I know in the meantime is my well went dry."Now the only way Wilburn is able to get water is through a hose connected to his neighbor's water system.He is now trying to save money to dig his well deeper, to about 400 feet down.Wilburn says, "It's about $15,000 to go that deep. That is a lot of money to come up with. I'm now trying to get some student loans to pay for it."Thomas Greci, General Manager of the Madera Irrigation District says growers are well within their rights to pump as much water as they need for their crops.However Greci says he is going to make sure proper permits were issued to use the canal.Greci says it's a delicate dance, with no water allocated this year growers have to try to survive.Wilburn hopes he too can survive Valley Drought 2014.
KMPH Fox 26 is the Central Valley's news leader, covering Fresno, California and the surrounding area, including Clovis, Madera, Hanford, Visalia, Biola, Kerman, Tranquillity, San Joaquin, Reedley, Coalinga, Avenal, Lemoore, Tulare, Selma, Caruthers, Tollhouse, Three Rivers, Porterville, and Merced.