California Water Cuts Leave City Days Away From Running Out Of Water

MOUNTAIN HOUSE (CBS13) — The community of Mountain House is days away from having no water at all after the state cut off its only water source.

Anthony Gordon saves drinking water just in case, even though he never thought it would come to this.

RELATED: California Farmers Worry Senior Water Rights Cuts In Drought Could Be Devastating

“My wife thinks I’m nuts. I have like 500 gallons of drinking water stored in my home,” he said.

The upscale community of Mountain House, west of Tracy, is days away from having no water. It’s not just about lawns—there may not be a drop for the 15,000 residents to drink.

RELATED: State Of Survival: A Five-Part Series On Impact Of A Four-Year Drought

“We’re out there looking for water supplies as we speak,” said Mountain House general manager Ed Pattison. “We have storage tanks, but those are basically just to ensure the correct pressurization of the distribution system. No more than 2 days are in those storage tanks.”

The community’s sole source of water, the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, was one of 114 senior water rights holders cut off by a curtailment notice from the state on Friday.

That means Mountain House leaders must find someone to sell them water, hopefully, the GM says, to have enough until the end of the year.

“We don’t want this town to become a ghost town, it was a beautiful master-planned community,” he said.

RELATED: Broken Sprinklers At State Capitol Raise Concerns Of Water Waste During Drought

A number of water districts plan to sue the state on the grounds the State Water Resources Control Board has no legal authority to cut off some of California’s oldest and most protected water rights.

The decision has Mountain House in uncharted territory, and the clock is ticking before the water runs out. Pattison is confident he’ll be able to buy some water to avoid catastrophe, but says that’s a short-term fix. He’s planning to diversify the water supply for long-term stability.

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