Visitors looking for fresh water at Torrey Pines State Beach have one option: a single drinking fountain.
Amid the fourth straight year of unprecedented drought conditions, some beaches have shut off their beach showers in an effort to conserve.
That measure poses a problem for some beach goers at Torrey Pines State Beach. Not only are the beach showers off, but some water bottle refill spots and the bathroom sinks have been shut off as well.
“You would expect, coming to a preservation like this and you’re paying a fee for $12, that you would be able to wash your hands,” said tourist Joe Cavaliere.
Those embarking on a hike, swim, bike ride or leisurely walk have been sharing a fountain with drinking water, and for some that fountain has become a sink and even a shower.
Becky Black, a visitor to the beach Wednesday, said as a born and raised Californian, she’s been through many droughts.
“I’m used to the need to conserve water,” Black said. “So I don’t have a problem with them shutting the water off.”
What did shock her was how much of it was shut off in the area.
“I don’t have a problem with them shutting that off, as long as they leave drinking water for people,” Black said.
Others, however, said the lack of water at beaches, even after Labor Day, was an inconvenience.
“We can’t wash our hands after the bathrooms, we can’t wash our feet after we walk on the sands, so we’re using the water fountain here to get our water which works but it’s unfortunate,” said Karen Doyle, a frequent visitor.
To her, shutting off all the water is “taking it a little too far.”
Cavaliere, a tourist in the area, said having most of the water off just shifted water usage to houses instead. To him, the change seemed less efficient.
“I used to just spray my feet over there for like 10 seconds and now it takes two pints to clean my feet,” Cavaliere said.
Others said they would still refrain from washing their feet where others drank.
“If people are going to be drinking out of there, I won’t wash my feet in there,” Black said.
For those looking to hike the area, there is running water at The Lodge and a drinking water fountain one trail, called Fleming.