When the aquifer runs out of aqui

Speaking of no it’s not a matter of if, it’s already happening, Mendocino is running out of water.

For the past century, misty, forested Mendocino – despite being nestled along a number of major rivers, creeks and springs – has relied on shallow wells for water. But amid a historic drought dessicating the US west, the aquifers beneath the town’s damp fog layer have rapidly declined, threatening to sink the region’s tourism industry and the residents who rely on it.

Café Beaujolais, which normally draws all its water for cooking and cleaning from two small wells on its property, has already been shelling out thousands of dollars to have water trucked in from nearby towns and cities.

Restaurants trucking in water: not sustainable. (Also, of course, simply adds its bit to the problem.)

A few minutes from Lopez’s restaurant, the Good Life Café and Bakery recently closed its restrooms. The throngs of tourists who line up down the block to sample the café’s quiches, cappuccinos and organic salads are directed instead to the portable toilets set up in the back parking lot. The owners of the local Harvest grocery market have brought in portable toilets as well.

Few things enhance the tourist experience quite like a visit to one of those smelly tin cans.

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