Atwater is a town of approximately 28,000 residents located along U.S. Route 99 eight miles west northwest of Merced. Major employers include J.R. Woods, Inc., Cingular Wireless and Joseph Gallo Farms.
Prior to its closing in the late 1995, Castle Air Force Base was located next to Atwater. The Castle Air Museum now preserves the history of the base that influenced the development of the Atwater community.
Atwater is home to six elementary schools and 2 high schools, Atwater High School
, which was the orignal secondary school that is steeped in history and tradition, and Buhach Colony High School
which is a newer school that is already rivaling others in the area in regards to testing and athletics. The two give the town a fun rivalry to participate in.