The Necessity of the Water Park, and Dublin’s Efforts to Conserve Water in a Drought

Alexandra Stassinopoulos, Writer

Any other time, a colossal water park with three pools and six waterslides would sound like a dream come true to anyone who liked to cool off during the summer. Except, of course, when Dublin – and the rest of California – is in the middle of a drought. However, the ecological damage of the park may be better than at first glance.

The approximately $33 million construction project was started in March of this year despite the protests of many families worried about the possible waste of water; after ten years of planning it would now cost the city more financially if they were to back out of the project. Despite its long planning, everyone involved admits that the timing is unfortunate.

One of the worst in California history, the current drought began its fourth year by Gov. Brown asking Californian residents to cut their water usage by 25%. Dublin responded by dropping their average water usage to 70 gallons per a person per a day, almost four times less than the average of 279 gallons used by the average Sacramento resident.

However, the difference in water usage is not due simply to the capitol city’s warmer client: Dublin not only has been efficient in placing water meters at residents’ houses, around eighty percent of the city’s operations involve recycled water. If that were not enough, the district even provides free recycled water for watering lawns, a program many Dublin residents have taken advantage of.

The point is, Dublin knows how to conserve water.

The massive nature of the water park is offset by the fact that the pools will not constantly be using new water. Unlike watering a lawn, filling up pools is a one time process, after which the water can be chlorinated and recirculated.

The water park’s impact on the community should also be taken into account before the project is  slammed as wasteful. At the moment, Dublin has one public pool that is being outgrown by the city’s ballooning population. It significantly smaller to the public pools found in neighboring communities, such as Pleasanton and San Ramon.

The new facility is expected to be popular in the summer, as people head to the pool to cool off from the rising temperatures. During the cooler months, the facility, especially the indoor pool, can be used to teach swim lessons, certifications and water aerobics classes.

There is also the matter of the high school. Right now, the Dublin High Swim team practices at the Dublin City pool. Although the older pool is conveniently located next to the high school, it is too shallow and quickly becoming too small for the growing swim team.

With the lap area being barely four feet deep, the pool too shallow that water polo and is only deep enough for diving blocks in the two end lanes; not only does this prevent the high school swimmers from hosting meets, only having two blocks limits the diving practice per a swimmer. This puts the Dublin High team at an automatic disadvantage during competitions, when a good dive can make all the difference.

As the team grows, the current pool is becoming too cramped with its six lanes. This may sound spacious to recreational swimmers, but to the seventy member strong high school team, six lanes means seven to eight swimmers per a lane. An obvious answer to this problem would be two practice times for the varsity and jv teams. However, this is not possible due to the time commitments it would put on the coaches and lifeguards