New ‘drastic’ water measure in East Bay marks seriousness of drought

The Mount Diablo State Park website it has a foreboding message posted on it: “ALL visitors are encouraged to bring water for consumption during their visit,” she reads.

It’s yet another sign of drought in a state that has all recently emerged from a severe drought, from 2012 to 2016.

The water shortages across the state have now come to the beloved East Bay Park, known for its yummy wildflowers in the spring and its dizzying hills for cyclists and hikers.

“The springs on the mountain have been reduced to a runoff and the water storage tanks are closed to emptiness,” the Diablo Mountain website says.

In response, the park was forced to take a series of “radical measures” to conserve water, including closing various water pipes and closing toilets and flush toilets.

Water taps in the picnic areas and the much-loved Rock City have been turned off. Showers and restrooms flush to Juniper, Junction and Live Oak camps are closed.

Portable toilets and hand washing stations are now available in Rock City and the aforementioned camps, and toilet holes around the park remain open.

Similarly, there is drinking water available at Ranger Junction stations, and water and restrooms flush in Mitchell Canyon and Macedo Ranch day-use areas, the website says.

“If you are planning a long hike, run, walk, bike ride or horseback ride please bring plenty of water to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit,” the website says.

It is not clear how much water is left in the park. Diablo Mountain officials did not immediately return SFGATE phone calls. According to CBS Local, the park gets most of its water from rain gathered in underground springs. When there is no rain, the springs dry up.

This is also not the first time Diablo’s mountain faucets and bathrooms have been dried up. In 2014, amid the statewide drought, the park also shut off water pipes and closed flush toilets.

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