Supes Approve Trucking Water from Ukiah to Mendocino

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution implementing a water hauling assistance program at a special meeting on Aug. 24, which will focus on trucking raw water from Ukiah to the Summer Lane reservoir in Fort Bragg to be treated — where it would then be trucked to Mendocino.

The board discussed applying for a grant from the Department of Water Resources that would cover much of the cost for residential uses, though the logistics remain uncertain for business use. In the meantime, $1.5 million will be allocated for the trucking program.

Small Towns Grow Desperate for Water in California

As a measure of both the nation’s creaking infrastructure and the severity of the drought gripping California there is the $5 shower.

That’s how much Ian Roth, the owner of the Seagull Inn, a bed-and-breakfast in this tourist town three hours north of San Francisco, spends on water every time a guest washes for five minutes under the shower nozzle.

Water is so scarce in Mendocino, an Instagram-ready collection of pastel Victorian homes on the edge of the Pacific, that restaurants have closed their restrooms to guests, pointing them instead to portable toilets on the sidewalk.

Dry California Tourist Town to Guests: ‘Please Conserve’

Tourists flock by the thousands to the coastal town of Mendocino for its Victorian homes and cliff trails, but visitors this summer are also finding public portable toilets and signs on picket fences pleading: “Severe Drought. Please conserve water.”

Hotels have closed their lobby bathrooms and residents have stopped watering their gardens in the foggy outpost about 150 miles (240 kilometers) north of San Francisco after two years of little rain sapped many of the wells Mendocino depends on for potable water.

Mendocino’s water woes were compounded in recent weeks when the city of Fort Bragg a few miles to the north — its main backup water supplier — informed officials that it, too, had a significant drop in its drinking water reserves after the Noyo River recorded its lowest flows in decades.

Harmful Algae Blooms Return to California Waterways

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