Diablo Grande community could run out of water this week

Local News

DIABLO GRANDE, Calif. (KTXL) — Nearly 800 residents in the Diablo Grande community could run out of water by the end of the week. 

Some residents were upset that their water rates could increase even as they’re asked to conserve. 

“This is not, you know, a third-world country. This is the United States of America and I’m talking to you about running out of water. To me, that is crazy,” resident Alexis Schleich told FOX40.

Diablo Grande used to be a coveted community behind a private gate, but some residents feared it would be abandoned because of ongoing water problems.  

“Now ugly, it’s grown over, there’s no more grass,” Schleich said.

“We had a golf course, beautiful golf course. I was a volunteer. I was golfing on it. We had a clubhouse, we had everything a lot of amenities here. Now, we have nothing. We got nothing,” resident Carlos Martinez explained.

The community of about 800 homes was allocated a limited amount of water for the year because of California’s drought and an ongoing dispute between the Kern County Water Agency and the Western Hills Water District.

Even with water conservation in place, Diablo Grande will run out of allocated water by Oct. 15, according to the Western Hills Water District. 

“Next week, I might not have water at all. That’s my only concern,” Schleich said.

The Western Hills Water District was considering raising water rates to cover costs. 

“What I believe the water district is trying to do is buy a little time so we can get the problem resolved and then get the water rates down to where they really should be, where people can afford them,” explained resident Michael Oliver.

But other residents said their water bills are already too high and they can’t afford to pay anymore. 

“One hundred and fifty dollars, $170, some pay $300. And we feel that that’s enough, you know to raise it higher than that is it’s not worth living up here for,” Martinez said.

“And the God’s honest truth is, for this $178 water bill, they’re asking us to cut way back. And because of the cutbacks, we’re not even using what we’re paying for,” Schleich said.

Some told FOX40 if the rate increase is approved, they may leave Diablo Grande for greener pastures. 

“I will be moving. There’s no ifs, whats or buts, I will be moving,” Martinez said. “I am not going to pay that ridiculous amount of money for water. There’s no way.”

There is a water board meeting Wednesday night to discuss those possible water rate increases.

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