I talked to Melissa, an educator at Seaworld, and she discussed with me that several of Seaworlds management had already developed the parks Water Conservation Plan and had submitted the plan to the San Antonio Water System. The drought restrictions for San Antonio are quit stringent. Many of the restrictions, however, are everyday practices for their park. Under restrictions, water waste is prohibited; Melissa quoted, At Seaworld we are always watching how our water is being used and we are always finding new ways to reuse our water or reduce consumption.
I also found out that the park reduces their landscape watering by about 20% in their formal park area, and their back area of the park goes without water. Another way the park conserve water is by collecting water condensation from air conditioning units in two condensation tanks found in back areas of the park. The water collected in these tanks is used to irrigate landscaping throughout the park and is also used to pressure wash pathways. Low-flow toilets have been installed in the park restrooms to reduce the amount of waste water used.
In addition to conservation reclaimed water is used to water the plants and grass at Seaworld. Theyve also cut their monthy water use from eight million gallons to four million gallons in the last three years, according to Wade from the NPR organization,who had wrote an article about recycled water in San Antonio. When Shamu splashes the lower rows with fountains of water from his 5 million gallon tank, the water that looks like its going the drain is actually headed for capture. In fact, Seaworld has built its own on-site water filtration system.
Seaworld San Antonio has made conservation a top priority over the years and are continuously working on innovative ways to improve the environment. The team at the park workhard every year to improve and reduce the parks overall energy consumption through water and energy cconservation, sustainability and recycling. In 2009 they were presented with Going Green Award in the Conservation Program category by the San Antonio Business Journal. The award program recognizes individuals, companies and programs making an effort to save our planet.
The parks water and energy conservation and recycling efforts were key factors in winning this award. As important as conservation is, whats really saving San Antonio right now is its aquifer-storage system. During times when the rains are plenty and the Edwards Aquifer is full, San Antonio aggressively pumps the water out and stores it forty miles away in a sand formation called the Carrizo. Nobody knows how much water the Carrizo could ultimately store, perhaps as much as sixty-five billion gallons.
Now, in the midst of this devastating drought, the Carrizos massive pumps are sending this rainy day water back to the thirsty city from whence it came. I talked with Jeff, director of production, and he stated that he feels its a huge benefit and that it cuts down on the amount of water that San Antonio uses from the Edwards during a critical time , which is good for the entire region. San Antonios approach to its water has saved it in the past but like Wlliam Alley discusses in his essay, Tracking U. S. Groundwater, no one knows how much water is actually available.
Its all estimates. Its almost impossible to keep record of and exact figure when it comes to water consumption. Alley goes to explain how the aquifer can be estimated more accurately than global ground water. So the Carrizo obtains most of its water from rain. If the rain dont come, San Antonio and the rest of Texas are going to learn what the word drought really means. Seaworld San Antonio does not have a major impact on the city water supply.
Karen the water systems director of conservstion stated that seaworld amongst other customers have helped them reach their goal to save a billion gallons of water every single year. Like Mark Holston, the author of Where Has All The Water Gone, discusses how water is being reused to our benenfit. That to me is where the Carizzo comes into play for the city and the main ways Seaworld reuses water as well. Both ways have helped the community figure out that it is better to save watere than to worry about having to always just acquire more water.