Parks and Recreation staff launch Million Gallon Challenge

In an effort to operate smarter and more efficiently, Iowa City Parks and Recreation staff has challenged themselves to conserve one million gallons of water this summer season. This initiative, inspired by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center’s Billion Gallon Water Challenge for the state of Illinois, aims to promote environmental sustainability while fostering responsible stewardship of Iowa City tax dollars. 

The Parks and Recreation Department staff hopes to achieve this goal by implementing various outdoor and indoor water saving practices such as reducing irrigation run times, reusing water, and repairing leaky fixtures.

“Conserving water resources as much as possible is a standard practice for our Department, but I’m proud of our Parks staff for taking the initiative to try and do even better,” Parks and Recreation Director, Juli Seydell Johnson said.

Though efforts are being made to cut back on water usage, Seydell Johnson said that the quality and usability of athletic fields and parks will remain a high priority. “The focus is on making smart changes that will save money and conserve water resources without sacrificing the quality of the user experience.”

One technique that Parks staff are experimenting with is recycling water that is used to paint athletic fields. Rather than using clean water to mix with the paint, they’re looking at using rain water or recycling the water previously used in field painting.

Efforts to conserve water will be on-going throughout the summer irrigation season, which runs through October.

Date of publication

Tuesday, April 26, 2016