The 9-year war over water in one rural Clovis community is over. And it all boiled down to money.
Hundreds of residents living north of Clovis between Shepherd and Fowler had their votes counted and verified by the Fresno County Board of Supervisors Tuesday.
The final tally: residents voted against a new water system, because they didn’t want to pay $700 a month for 20 years to build it.
Jay Shaw showed us how desperate things are on the 5-acre land he's lived on for 2 decades.
"This area is going dry whether people want to believe it or not, there are a few good wells but majority of wells are just barely hanging on…mine produce talking one two three four gallons a minute which is not much water,” Shaw said.
Shaw's pool water is trucked in a few times a month, laundry is done the old-fashioned way, and the landscape...stays thirsty.
9 years ago, his wife went door to door raising money for an engineering study to build a water system. It would have replaced wells with a steady stream of pipe-water.
Tuesday, her efforts were drowned out by bitter defeat.
Hundreds of Clovis residents voted against the $23 million dollar water project.
“They're celebrating because they don't have to pay the fees and I don't blame them...there's a lot of people...it went high. In 2003 it would have passed no problem,” said Bonnie Shaw who proposed the water system 9 years ago.
“In the beginning the check was going to be $20,000 or $30,000 to cover each resident total,” said Matt Blake who voted against the water system.
After years of water planning, the cost ballooned. Each resident would have paid close to $60,000 to cover the building costs.
“We're willing to help our neighbors but $60,000 is a lot of money,” said Mary-Pat Larralde who voted against the water system.
Shaw got into the business of finding water, and he'll continue fighting for every last drop.
I've got 5 acres. I can punch a couple hundred more holes and see what we can get or keep trucking in more water,” Shaw said.