The drought is having a big impact on visitors at El Capitan State Beach.
Showers have been turned off because a well that provides water for the park is slowly being depleted.
Eric Hjelstrom, the Santa Barbara sector superintendent for the California Department of Parks and Recreation, said officials made the decision to turn off the showers to avoid having to close down some portions or all of the park.
“We’ve gotten to a place where our production is not meeting our demand. We were hoping we could make it through the summer. But, in the last few weeks, we’ve gotten to a place where we are starting to dip into our fire reserve which we need to keep in case there is a brush fire,” Hjelstrom said.
Campers are roughing it even more than usual. But, most are taking it all in stride.
Thousand Oaks native Amanda Salazar has been coming to El Capitan State Beach every summer for more than 15 years.
“Obviously, its a little inconvenient. But, if conserving the water lets us camp here for longer, then we are more concerned about that. Other people I know got a warm bucket of water and did a sponge bath, so we kind of made do with it,” Salazar said.
Park officials are letting campers know they can shower at Refugio State Beach which is just a few miles away. Refugio has not been affected by a water shortage since it has a different well and aquifer.
Some campers are taking advantage of that option.
“We had to go down to Refugio State Beach yesterday to take a shower because it kind of got to the point where we were a little bit stinky and we wanted to freshen up.