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My Valley, My Story: Rosa Garaby Has Lived Without Running Water For Five Years

May 5, 2015

Imagine going to your kitchen sink to wash dishes, but when you turn on the tap little or now water flows out. That's the reality in homes of many people across the Central Valley, especially as the historic drought worsens.

As part of FM89's series My Valley, My Story featuring first person accounts from people throughout the San Joaquin Valley reporter Ezra David Romero visits the Madera County community of Chowchilla, where one family has lived without water for five years. 

"My first name is Rosa Garaby. I've been here 38 years."

"The problem that we're facing right now is this drought. But it is going to be worse come summer, because I've been without water for almost five years and we have drilled twice on our property here."

"The problem that we're facing right now is this drought. But it is going to be worse come summer, because I've been without water for almost five years and we have drilled twice on our property here."

Across the street from Garaby's is a green almond orchard.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

"You go in the kitchen or the bathroom you turn the faucet and there's no pressure. That's very, very scary."

"It's the farmers. They have the rights to drill so deep. They're just taking the little water that we have they're drilling on their properties to keep their crops going and that's a big concern for us. Because I don't have no water. I've been without water five years."

"What am I going to do? I'm a widow. I have a family. I don't have the benefits really to go ahead and tell somebody can you come and drill. I have some people come over and see if there's water and they just said no it's dry, completely dry and it's going to cost you this much money. I said, "Oh, wow. I can't afford that right now."'

"I used to have air condition, it went out. I don't have no air condition. I get under the trees in the summer, the real  hot summer and just sit in the shade. We survive. Let me tell you we are survivors."

"Use as little as we can, you know, to survive. Because this is just the beginning. This is just the beginning."

"That's it. No more luxuries. They're gone."