Los Angeles (AFP) – A washing machine stands in the middle of Maria Jimenez’s California yard, like a redundant relic of modern life. Nearby are several rented mobile toilets, no longer in use.
For four months, she and her family have had no running water.
“We are trying to live a normal life,” the 52-year-old told AFP in the town of Monson, 200 miles north of Los Angeles.
Hers is one of a growing number of generally low-income households with no direct access to water in central California’s Valley, known as America’s food basket, where four years of extreme drought have left many residents high and dry.
Jimenez and her husband use plastic plates and cups in order to save using water for washing the dishes, all the while generating piles of garbage and extra expenses.
To take a shower, they’ve created an elaborate system that pumps bottled water up to the roof of their rented house and back down to the shower head.
But whenever possible, they try to wash at the homes of friends and family.
She also said her family’s livelihood in agriculture was dependent on it, as is the produce they eat.
The problem is specific to California’s agricultural regions.
Cities have sophisticated systems of aqueducts and other supply routes to bring water from northern California or from the Colorado River to the east.
Full Story @ [Yahoo News]