Fresno, CA

Water, Water, Not Everywhere

Mark-John Clifford

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California ReservoirCalifornia Waterblog

Since I moved to Fresno in late 2005, I've seen and read about the effects of the drought years from 2012 thru 2016. There wasn't a week that went by during those years that I wasn't reading or hearing about a family or families whose wells had dried up and were begging for help from the County, City, and State with water needs.

Water for drinking, bathing, and everything else was needed and desperately by all, and help wasn't always coming as fast as it was required, but it did come.

It's bad enough that this Valley has poor filtered or unfiltered water but add to that, the shortage of water and things are destined to infuriate the calmest and most understanding of individuals.

Many homes in the Valley rely on their wells for water, and if there isn't enough water in the ground to support these wells, everything dries up, and the sh** hits the fan.

Back East

When I lived back east, I was always connected to city water, but I would visit my uncle's home in New Hampshire, where he had a well. That was the best-tasting water I had ever had. Better than the bottled water sold and the filtering systems some homes had for their tap water. Nothing in the world compared to that well water.

He would brag that the reason the water was so cold and tasted so great was due to the depth of the well. He boasted that his well was the deepest in the neighborhood he lived. I don't know if that's true, but it sounded good, and the water tasted fantastic.

What I did know was that every time I went to visit, and that was often, I brought along a few five-gallon jugs to fill up from his well to bring back to New York so I could make coffee with his water.

The morning coffee never tasted so good. When I would run out and couldn't visit him for a refill, I would revert to the city water, which just missed the mark by a mile in taste.

Back in Fresno

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Dried up ReservoirSF Gate

I always longed for a well of my own, but it seemed it would never happen until I moved to Fresno and the last few years.

When I first moved here, we were on city water, and then we made the bold move to the country and the life of living with a well.

The water was cold, great-tasting, and just as I remember it was when visiting my uncle.

Fresno city water was mainly undrinkable, and we would use bottled water or a filtering system for drinking the tap water. It was a pain the ass for drinking and especially when making coffee.

When we made a move to the country, and we had our well, everything changed.

We moved to the country after the drought of 2016, so we didn't need to worry about our well drying up. Plus, I didn't think that something like that could happen. It never happened to my uncle, but then again, he lived in New Hampshire, so they didn't have droughts as we have here in California.

So for the past four years, all has been well, no pun intended.

It's 2021, and of course, along with everything else we've been through the past year, we are now facing a drought again. This time though, we have a well, and it could directly affect us.

This article posted the other day in the Fresno Bee gives you an idea of what we're up against in the Valley. It isn't just us either. We're talking hundreds if not thousands of families that will be affected by this drought.

When we decide to move to the country, the thought of having a well made me relive my days in New Hampshire. It also was a way to be off the grid when it came to using water. Not that we abuse our water even though we have a well, but city restrictions are very restrictive and aren't always the easiest to follow. Plus, some fines go along with being connected to city water during water issues which I understand.

Being off the grid, so to speak, brings less worry upon us when watering and keeping our family veggie garden looking good and supplying us with garden-fresh veggies.

According to the article above, all of that is in peril if this drought comes to fruition as expected. The snowfall in the mountains was less than they expected, and due to the weather and other factors, this drought is a possibility.

So we're headed into the summer, hoping for the best for all families in the Valley but expecting the worst. It's time to prepare.

If you know of any families in the Valley with a well, keep tabs on them throughout the summer to make sure they manage this drought well, and if they need help, try and lend a hand or a bottle of water. It will be appreciated.

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Patti, my wife, and I write about life here in Fresno, California, and the Central Valley. We especially enjoy writing reviews about restaurants we've dined at along with the food that is served. We are not traditional food critics. We don't have to worry about restaurants making special dishes for us. We're just the average customer going in to dine and then we write reviews.

Fresno, CA
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