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Jul 10, 2014 9:06 PM by RaeAnn Christensen, KSBY News

Cambria residents taking extreme measures during drought

Desperate times call for desperate measures."I am washing our vehicle using a waterless wash. I am using a spray bottle and just a towel." Washing his truck without water is just one of the things long-time Cambria resident Michael Blanco does to help his community save water. "This is the first time that I recall it as being as extreme, and there's more urgency," said Blanco.

An extreme and urgent situation as the town is in a stage 3 water emergency that requires restrictions including how much water each resident can use. Blanco said the measures he and his wife take can be compared to living in the great outdoors. "It's almost like going camping. You live under a structure but you look at your restroom as like an outhouse. You're not flushing it, you're just flushing it when necessary."

Also down the drain for Blanco, long showers. He said, "We tend to take a shower or turn it on, get wet, turn it off, soap up, turn it on, and rinse off." And forget doing them on the daily. "I shower when I am gross," he said laughing.

Causing some controversy in neighborhoods, portable toilets are popping up in front yards. Some residents have rented them to use during house parties. Eyesore or smart conservation? That's the debate among neighbors. "We have a very small community, so whatever we do actually does make a difference," said Blanco.

Drought or no drought, water conservation is now a way of life for Blanco. "You realize too after all these years how much water we've actually let go down the drain, which we should have been conserving."

Cambria Community Services District said it just received its June report this week and Cambria residents have dropped their water usage by 44 percent.

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