Tired of politics, Sanger prays for rain

SANGER, Calif.

Those prayers are increasing as the impact of this drought becomes more real to cities like Sanger. Its water comes from underground aquifers that just aren't filling up this winter.

With arms outstretched – faithful Sanger residents plead for drought relief through prayer. Alice Holguin was raised there and she has never been more concerned. "I hear all these scary stories," she said. "I'm just worried that we may not have any water."

Sanger's mayor, Joshua Mitchell, put the call out to the churches in the city to gather downtown and ask god to send water to the Central Valley. "We've looked for answers on the political level, we've looked for answers from our state government," Mitchell said. "There's nothing that's really coming to fruition. And we just thought it's really time to come together as a community and do what we should have done from the beginning and pray for this water."

Sanger's water supply comes from beneath the ground. But with no rain water or snow pack to refill those aquifers the city may soon issue drought restrictions. "I'll tell you it's not something we want to do, but it's where we're at right now in this very desperate situation," Mayor Mitchell said.

Holguin isn't thrilled with that idea. "I wouldn't like it, but we have to do what we have to do," she said. I try not to use as much water, but I know I can cut down more."

The city of Orange Cove recently banned outdoor watering, unless home owners use recycled or gray water. Stores like Home Depot sell the conservation system online, but Valley stores are hoping to put them on the shelves to meet a growing demand.

"We're working with our merchants to get them activated in our stores, especially with the drought conditions in California," Andy Rigler, store manager at Home Depot in North Fresno said. "But the majority of them are available online on homedepot.com."

In the meantime, the group of faithful holds out hope its prayers for rain will be granted. "We can't keep going and acting like nothing's wrong," said Mitchell.

The Sanger City Council will also soon begin talking about legal parameters for drought restrictions. Those could go into effect in just a few weeks.

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