Raymond cuts water usage, implements restrictions

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Extreme water restrictions are now in place for a tiny town in Madera County. (KFSN)

Extreme water restrictions are now in place for a tiny town in Madera County. All outdoor watering is restricted here in Raymond. Water officials say it's just a precaution.

People who live in Raymond are frustrated. They've already cut back and now they say they're being told it's not enough.

Carylin Miller is taking her own extreme measures during one of the worst droughts in recent history. "I hope we're doing what we're supposed to be doing, but I don't know," Miller said. "It's scary."

Stumps on her property used to be huge trees that provided shade and privacy to her home, but she recently cut down 7 of her 10 weeping willows in order to save water.

"It's not fair to other ones down the road if we have big trees and they can't flush their toilets," said Miller. "I'm not going to do that."

She just set up a system to repurpose water from her washing machine so she can continue watering plants around her yard.

"Anything outside will only be used with gray water," she said. "If that's not enough then we'll go ahead and retrieve the water from the shower."

A solar pool cover is designed to prevent evaporation from her above ground pool.

Miller's neighbors are also taking action. So much so that Hillview Water Company says Raymond cut back on its overall water usage by 30 percent in January and February.

Still, they're set on stage 3 restrictions. The most drastic measure in stage 3 prevents any outdoor watering.

"They've been doing a great job with conservation but we just need to encourage them to keep going because we haven't seen much rain yet," said Jim Foster, manager of Hillview Water Company. "Until we do it's not really going to change things majorly."

A community water meeting held Monday explained Hillview is working on a new water treatment facility to eliminate nitrates and other dangerous elements from the supply.

It's a nearly $6 million project that included new wells. The project is moving ahead quicker than expected because of the governor's drought declaration.

But some well levels are dropping. Hillview and the people it supplies are just hoping they don't run out. "It's like liquid gold anymore," Miller said.

The well project is expected to take more than a year to complete.

Related Topics:
california waterwaterdroughtmadera countyMadera County
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