Governor Brown’s drought emergency proclamation has high-water-use businesses on high alert.
“California has long had drought issues, so this is not the first time this will come up and unfortunately it will not be the last time,” Lara Kirkendall, Outreach Coordinator of the Sacramento Zoo, said.
The Sacramento Zoo is prepared. Over the years, the zoo has replaced regular trees with drought resistant plants. They have also traded in water hoses for street sweepers.
“[Since last week] Our horticulturists changed all of our clocks for watering, to use a small percentage of what they used to be using on a more frequent schedule,” Kirkendall said.
“We have a filtration system inside the lake,” Kirkendall said. “It’s not like they’re draining at all times, and we really try and keep it at a constant level, and use those filtration systems to prevent water loss.”
A Roseville business is using a similar process.
Skatetown Ice Arena is also taking water conservation seriously. All the ice is made of recycled water.
“When we resurface the ice, and shave the ice off, we put it in an underground pit,” Scott Slavensky, General manager of Skatetown Ice Arena said. “We filter it, heat it, and reuse it. And that saves a lot of water.”
They are one of the few skating rinks in the country with this $40,000 technology.
With it, the company was able to cut down its daily water use from 10,000 gallons to 5,000 gallons.
“I think we all have a responsibility absolutely to conserve water, and we’re doing our part,” Slavensky said.
But if all of this is not enough, the zoo and ice rink both agree, they will have to prioritize.
“We plan on shutting our irrigation water down, although we know that will kill most of our plants,” Slavensky said.
“If the foliage has to take one for the team, the grass has to get a little brown, that’s fine, but our animals and people will have the water they need to survive,” Kirkendall reassured.
If worse comes to worst, the zoo will also have to turn off ambient displays like the waterfalls and creeks.
The skating arena is seriously considering replacing their grass with AstroTurf.