California Town in Water Crisis

October 27, 2022

They live in a historically arid climate, in the middle of a 1200 year drought.
They don’t have enough water for lawns and swimming pools

I blame Joe Biden.


The city, which is typically allocated 10,000 acre-feet of water, has only been allocated about 2,000 acre-feet this year, according to Pro-Tem Mayor Ray Singleton. And that supply is almost gone.

“It was beautifully green just eight years ago. If you look at Google Maps, my yard was green, but like maybe five or six years ago now you look at it now, it’s like the Sahara Desert,” said Singleton. He’s been a resident since 2000 and is raising his family there.

The California valley city, located inland between Los Angeles and San Francisco, is home to an estimated 17,465 people. All the people living in Fresno County, where Coalinga is located, are experiencing a drought. It is the second driest year to date over the past 128 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Coalinga residents have been living under water restrictions, such as no watering their front lawns or washing their cars, and there’s a moratorium on pools. If a resident wants to maintain their pool, they need to sign a contract with the town stating they will provide their own 30,000 gallons of water, according to Singleton. One of Singleton’s current concerns is that the fire department needs to flush out the hydrants soon, and that could use up even more water.

The city is also the site of a state prison and state mental health hospital. The city has no control over how these facilities use water, and Singleton estimates they pull around 25% to 30% of the city’s supply. He said he sees these institutions waste water and called it “frustratingly insane.”

The Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga told CNBC that it reduced water usage by more than 21% since 2020 with steps such as using pressurized water for cleaning, reducing urinal diaphragm capacity, reducing the washdown schedule of the wastewater treatment facility and reducing irrigation of landscaping.


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