Cambria’s glorious summer weather of 2014 will not be soon forgotten. To everyone’s relief, business in Cambria has never been better.
People from inland counties have flocked to our shores. They yearn for a view of the distant horizon. They’re desperate for moisture on their faces, soothed by the Mediterranean blue of the ocean and delighted by chilly water swirling around their ankles. They’re willing to pay for these experiences that we, as residents, enjoy each day.
The nearly endless sunshine since January has been truly memorable. And yet, residents may remember this summer as long and tedious. For homeowners, who value their landscapes and gardens, the task of procuring non-potable water has been expensive and exhausting.
While no one begrudges profits for businesses, one must question the wisdom of the focus on attracting visitors to Cambria during a time of crisis. Last year, visitors to Pinedorado nearly depleted our water supply. As much as we value the renowned Lions’ efforts, would it not have been prudent to put Pinedorado on hold, or at least to have shortened the event to two days?
Among reasons for retiring here, and in fact living here, is the opportunity to share a “bit of paradise” with family, children and grandchildren. Now we find ourselves hesitant to invite family members to visit our home due to water restrictions. Residents here have always cheered for the businesses to prosper, but for the first time in my memory, it does not appear that the interests of businesses and homeowners are aligned.
We do not know for certain that our Cambria Community Services District directors have made the right choices or decisions. Only time will prove that. But they were elected to find a solution to our water crisis, and they have acted and moved forward. Realistically, the only source of water that does not depend on rainfall appears to be the ocean. Surely, we can make that work for us.
As water grows more scarce, interest in gardening wanes. But there are still tasks to do as we maintain our property.
We can remove weeds and seed pods if and when they appear. We can deadhead spent flowers, preventing plants from expending energy on producing seeds. We can install more hardscape, like rock patios and paths. Thankfully, we can cut back on watering now as days become shorter.
We have only a few months until El Niño brings rain (or not). Until then, we can only hope that our leaders will use their good judgment and provide us with the water we need to live in this “imperfect paradise.”