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Showers Won't Be Shut Off At L.A. County Beaches After All

Quick rinse? (Photo by Antti T. Nissinen via the Creative Commons on Flickr)
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Beachgoers at L.A. County beaches will have one less thing to bring home from the beach this summer: sand.

Despite state requirements that showers at state beaches be shut off starting this Wednesday, visitors to L.A. County beaches will still be able to rinse off the salt and sand at state beaches and parks operated by the county. Why is the county able to snub the state edict aimed at conserving water during this epic drought? Because even though they are owned by the state, Dockweiler and Will Rogers beaches are operated by the county's Department of Beaches and Harbor, which is free to ignore the mandate, according to the Daily Breeze.

And it seems that shutting off showers is low on the priority list for the county's conservation efforts, as they don't waste too much water relative to other drought offenders. According to Carol Baker, spokeswoman for the county Department of Beaches and Harbors, “We have to prioritize this in terms for the biggest losses. Our showers automatically shut off, they have low-flow heads, there’s no hot water, so it’s not inviting to do anything more than rinse off. ... We’ll continue to look at this, but right now, we want to look at where the big water use is.”

Apparently the biggest water wasters at the beach aren't those sandy kids running around, but instead irrigation systems for beach plants and sink faucets. By using automatic shut-off valves, low-flow heads for showers and sinks, keeping the water cold and adjusting the irrigation system, the county can still fulfill Governor Brown's mandate to cut water usage by 25%.