California’s tourist town lacking water in drought


California’s historic town of Mendocino is short of water due to the depletion of wells on which tourist towns depend in a devastating drought.

Alegriain pays for underwater trucks so guests can take a shower. “Currently, it costs $ 600 for 3,500 gallons, which lasts for a week,” said Eric Hillsland, who runs the inn.

To save money, they sprinkle flowers with dirty dishwater and buy lightweight sheets for guest beds. “You can get more with a single wash and you can significantly reduce your water usage,” Hillesland said.

Climbing up the street of Cafe Beaujolais, the dining room is empty three days a week to save water. Owner Julian Lopez pays about $ 3,600 a month to deliver the water. He said “these towns on the coast are starting to stop selling water,” so no more water can be trucked.

“It’s miserable, it’s just getting worse,” said town groundwater manager Ryan Rhodes.

Rhoades said he was considering bringing water by train. So far, local high schools have provided some of that reserve, but Rhodes said he can only provide about one truck per day.

Even waitresses spread the word about nature maintenance and tell their customers to drink only what they can drink.

Outside some companies, portapots have replaced closed toilets to prevent the drainage of valuable resources.

“It’s scary,” Lopez said. “There is a scenario here where people run out of water.”

Mendocino expects to pour tourists’ money after the pandemic — but the question is how it can handle so many people with very little water.

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