One California city has decided to turn off popular showers along its beaches in an effort to conserve water in the statewide drought.
Del Mar’s City Council voted last week to shut‐off beach showers at four beach locations.
Toneasha Slater is visiting Del Mar and stopped by one of the showers Tuesday to wash off her son's feet after a day at the beach. She thinks it would be a mistake to lose the convenience of the beach showers.
“What are people going to do without these? I understand the drought but what are people supposed to do,” she asked.
Showers at all locations except the Beach Safety Center will be turned off. No exact date has been released, though visitors can expect the change to take effect "in the coming weeks," according to a release.
A spokesman for the city said four beach showers along Del Mar beaches use an estimated 495,360 gallons of water each year, which costs the city about $2,800 per year. That's 0.1 percent of total citywide water use.
"I don't think it'll make a grand difference,” said one San Diego resident who brought a visitor from Florida to the beach for the day.” In the scale of things, it seems like just a little piece of what's going on.”
However, Encinitas resident Ellen Speert believes it's a symbolic gesture that could prompt people to think twice about their water usage.
"Symbols are good. It's symbolic, and it'll alert people to the fact that we are in a drought that we should maybe be taking shorter showers at home," Speert said.
The City of Del Mar has been tasked with reducing its water consumption by 25 percent. To help meet that level, the city will begin assigned watering days for landscaping by June 1. That schedule
In the near future, visitors to Del Mar’s beaches will have to plan ahead and bring a spray bottle or a few damp towels.
“I’ll live. I’ll manage. Even if I don’t like it, I’ll live,” said surfer Matt Rivaldi.