MARIPOSA COUNTY (CBS13) — In one California town, they’re already so low on water, this woman you’re about to meet is washing her clothes every 10 days and taking a shower twice a week.
The community in Mariposa County may run out of water by the end of the summer.
The images are startling—water levels are so low that what is usually hundreds of feet underwater is now exposed. Houseboats that once floated on Lake McClure now sit in a parking lot.
Lake Don Pedro community services general manager Peter Kampa says his pumps could go dry by August.
“The lake will be down far enough where our pumps, even our emergency floating pumps can’t access the water anymore,” he said.
Leslie Farrow is one of about 1,500 people that get her water from what’s left of the lake. She’s had to make major cutbacks after the district increased mandatory water conservation and banned all outdoor watering.
“I do laundry maybe every 10 days instead of every three days, and showers in this house is Wednesdays and Sundays and thats just the way it is,” she said.
Farrow uses rain barrels to catch rainwater off her roof and saves her excess household water from going down the drain by bottling it in the garage.
“Everybody has got to get on board. A few people can’t go ‘Oh everybody else is doing it so we won’t,’” she said.
But Farrow must also share the little water her district has with nearby Merced Irrigation District, which is required to release water from Lake McClure downriver every year for fish.
“This is a situation that’s going to rear its head throughout the state of California because all of these reservoirs have to be operated in such a way to support multiple beneficiaries,” Kampa said.
That leaves people like Farrow wondering when the water she relies on won’t be there anymore.
“Sooner or later, you are going to come to a situation where, well where are we supposed to get it?” she said.