The Madera groundwater sub-basin is so seriously overdrafted that water levels have plummeted 30 feet to 155 feet since 2010. Wells throughout the county have gone dry. Parkwood and Ranchos residents have suffered greatly. One year is the average wait for a deeper, more expensive, well – with no gurantee of water.
The Madera County General Plan requires new development to prove sustainable water yield before a project is permitted. Vulcan Material’s Austin Quarry is not being held to this standard.
Madera’s Planning Commission approved a 258 acre by 400 foot deep quarry despite Vulcan’s inability to truthfully prove sustainable yield. Curiously, Vulcan is “volunteering” to transfer 100 acre feet of water yearly from the San Luis Water District to either Friant or Root Creek Water District without any written agreement provided. The county is allowing Vulcan a 10 year “rolling average,” with non-delivery resulting in a “fine.”
San Luis Water deliveries are made on a pro-rata basis; industrial users are at the back of the line. The San Luis Reservoir is at 10% capacity.
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Does the county expect downstream water users to cook, bathe, wash, irrigate and flush their toilets with fines for the next 100 years?
Catherine Fowler, Madera