Since Friday, astronomers and hikers alike have been treated to a rude awakening after arriving at the Mount Wilson Observatory. After that long trek up the mountain, they may be in need of a splash of water on the face or a water bottle refilled to the brim. Sadly, though, the faucets at the top have run dry.
KPCC is reporting that drought conditions at the observatory have caused officials to shut off fountains, sinks, and toilets as a conservation measure. Portable toilets are being installed on Saturday.
Each of the mountain’s three water wells have been tapped completely in the drought. Lately, the observatory had been having water deliveries trucked up the mountain. However, the water’s price of nine cents a gallon and the unreliability of deliveries means they’re no longer willing to share it with hikers.
Also victim of the dwindling water supply at Mount Wilson is the Cosmic Cafe. The cafe’s kitchen was forced to close after the lack of reliable water source made it impossible to meet restaurant health standards.
The Cosmic Cafe, sans kitchen, will still operate during the water shutoff, hocking dry goods and bottled water instead of chili dogs and hamburgers. Officials at the Observatory aren’t complete monsters, so the cafe will also have water jugs onsite for parched patrons who don’t hike with cash.