By Jamie Applegate
As the threat of one of the largest droughts in California history continues to loom, farmers and officials in the San Joaquin Valley town of Coalinga — 64 miles south of Madera — have begun to respond and prepare for the effects.
While the federal water year has not started yet and no one has been informed of how much water will be offered, city manager Rene Ramirez said Coalinga — which has a population of about 13,000 — is still taking steps to prepare for all possible scenarios.
“This water year appears different than anything we’ve seen,” Ramirez said. “We’re trying to be proactive and if things improve we can take a step back. Right now we’re getting ready for the worst-case scenario.”
Typically the city is offered a federal allotment of 10,000 acre-feet of water from the Bureau of Reclamation and, historically, does not purchase the entire allotment. The city has historically purchased an average of 5,400 acre-feet...