2016-02-18 / Community

Rainfall or not, CRPD keeping up conservation

By Kyle Jorrey

Even with the promise of an impending El Niño—a promise that appears more flimsy with each passing day—the Conejo Rec and Park District’s drought-related conservation efforts haven’t waned.

Between June and December last year, CRPD used 41 percent less water than it did during the same period in 2013, a savings of nearly 81 million gallons of the precious liquid, according to a recent district report. This despite actually using more water in December 2015 (12,586 units) than it did in December 2013 (11,995).

CRPD’s most recent water use report, released Feb. 3, outlines how the district has been able to reduce its reliance on water so drastically since Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for a 25 percent reduction last spring.

Over the past eight months, CRPD has spent around $350,000 converting 40 acres of grass at seven parks to wood chips or drought-tolerant plants.

For its efforts, the park district expects to receive about $377,000 in turf-conversion rebates from the Metropolitan Water District.

Other water-saving projects and activities mentioned in the report: hiring an irrigation technician, replacing an irrigation booster pump at Conejo Creek South and using biochar at Kimber and Oakbrook neighborhood parks.

Work is scheduled to get underway in March on CRPD’s first reclaimed-water irrigation system, which is going in at North Ranch Neighborhood Park.

Using less water also means saving on expenses.

According to estimates, the district projects its total water costs to be $1.3 million for the current fiscal year (2015-16), down from $1.8 million in 2013-14.

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