The impact of last winters lower than normal snowpack and dry spring is making it’s mark in Yosemite where water conservation efforts are in full swing for visitors and Yosemite Fall, top of everyones list visiting the park as a “must see”, is down to nothing.
The Modesto Bee: “The impact is visible across the 1,200-square-mile national park. Drinking water is being packed in by mules to Sunrise High Sierra Camp. Showers are rationed in Tuolumne Meadows. The fountain is turned off at the Wawona Hotel, where the rolling lawns are brown. Campers in Wa-wona use portable privies instead of flush toilets.
In Yosemite Valley last week, the Merced River meandered under Pohono Bridge at 23 cubic feet per second, one-third the normal flow for this time of year.
Even so, bathers can find swimming holes in the languid river. Yosemite Falls may be just a damp streak, but Bridalveil manages a gossamer sheen. And the valley’s majestic cliffs still tower, oblivious to the demands of human hygiene below.
‘It’s dry, but it’s still beautiful,’ said Yosemite ranger Adrienne Freeman. ‘One of the beauties of Yosemite is that it is a wild, natural place. We’ll continue to manage whatever nature throws at us. Every year there’s something. In 2005-06, remember, the snowpack was 200 percent of normal.'”