Madera Ranchos residents have new source of water

MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- It wasn't long after the ribbon cutting for the new Dublin well for the Madera Ranchos community in Madera County that one of its residents spoke up, saying people like her have suffered waiting for it to be finished.

"(The) entire ratepayers of (Maintenance District) 10A should be acknowledged," she said.

Madera County supervisor Brett Frazier acknowledged the Dublin well has been a long-time coming and that's created frustration for some of Madera Ranchos' 3,400 residents.

"It took over two years and it was over budget and it was a very contentious issue, but we had to keep moving forward and get the water to the residents and the ratepayers out here," Frazier said.

Now that it's here, residents like Tom and Beverly Walsh say they'll continue to conserve in creative ways. They already utilize grey water and drip irrigation, and eventually have plans for a complete drought-conscious landscape in their large front yard.

"With this new well, it gives people confidence of supply and pressure, and basically to keep going the way we're going," Tom Walsh said.

Ratepayers like the Walsh's covered most of the $2 million bill, and when it came in over cost, the county took out a loan to complete the project.

"This is basically the Cadillac of wells," said project manager and Madera County Engineer Mohammed Alqutami.

He says problems started when a couple of wells failed two years ago.

"They didn't maintain the pressure at some points during the drought years and during peak hours," Alqutami said.

But he says the new well will increase production by 33 percent at roughly 800 gallons a minute. It's efficient, and water pressure should no longer be an issue.

"Whatever there was in the past, it's in the past, and this is the future," Alqutami said. "This is the future of wells."

Alqutami says the design of the well will allow for a recharge of the groundwater basin any time it's flushed or it rains.

As for the open space, the county has future water storage plans. In the near future, they plan to put in two one million gallon tanks.

The well is 555 feet deep and the pump is set at 460 feet.

Stage 3.5 is still in effect for Madera Ranchos residents, which allows for drip irrigation to water bushes, trees, and gardens, but otherwise watering lawns or using sprinklers is not allowed.
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