In the community of Mountain House, California, leaders are desperate for a solution to keep the water running, reports CBS News correspondent John Blackstone.
The busy water park in town is a place where residents can briefly forget the community of 15,000 is threatened with having its only source of water cut off — something resident Dena Estrella-Trujillo says is out of their control.
“I know other parts of the world go without water, but obviously it’s something we’re not accustomed to, so it’s definitely, definitely scary,” the mother of five said.
Mountain House is facing the possibility of taps going dry because the state water board has ordered an end to pumping from the rivers and streams where the community gets its water.
“We have to cease and desist and shut down our water diversion entirely. No exceptions,” Mountain House General Manager Ed Pattison said.
He has spent the week searching for a way to keep the taps running.
“We are out on the open market looking for water to provide an alternative water supply to get us through the remainder of the year,” Pattison said.
He said California is in its fourth year of drought and there are a lot of people looking for water.
Mountain House is a planned community that grew quickly more than a decade ago across what had been farmers’ fields. The new town inheritedcentury-old water rights that went along with the land. Those old water rights were thought to be sacred but California’s historic drought is changing the rules.
At the water park, resident Sally Byers says those who live in Mountain House have been careful to conserve.
“We all have low-flow toilets, you know, it is a new community so it’s been designed to use less water,” she said.
But conservation only goes so far.
Estrella-Trujillo said they’re praying for rain.
Pattison is confident he’ll find water before the taps go dry, but he too is praying for rain.
“If we don’t get it , the reality is next year, I think, I’ve heard, the state will be going off the cliff,” he said.