Rain, shine and water parks

In 2007, Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta was set to turn into Snow Mountain. Attractions such as sledding, snow tubing, snow angels and other southern novelties were advertised for the bargain price of $25 per person.

2007 also marked the worst drought in over a century for Georgia, spanning over 16 months and resulting in complete outdoor watering bans for much of the state. By October, Lake Lanier’s water supply wasn’t expected to last more than a few more months.

The 30,000 square foot area of Snow Mountain requires 240 tons of artificial snow, or 70,000 gallons of water. Park officials temporarily suspended plans for this new addition.

By 2008, they had restructured so that water is collected from Stone Mountain Lake and treated before being fed into the snow machine. Then, the melted snow travels back into the lake through storm drainage pipes. By looping the same water, the park gave itself a more environmentally conscious way to continue providing fun in the snow.

Meanwhile, Six Flags White Water also made a change for the better in 2008. They began retrofitting rides and installing well water, resulting in a 10 percent reduction in water usage.

The question, however, is whether we need to experience such a severe drought to make such obvious and eco-friendly choices.

Unfortunately, Georgia is not alone in its water concerns. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, 36 states expect water shortages by 2013.

So I challenge you, rain or shine, to adopt a single habit this week that will result in water conservation. It can be cutting a shower by a minute or two, checking for leaks, matching the water level on the washer to the size of your laundry load, etc.

Leave us a comment to let us know what your habit of the week is!

-Isha Ghodke

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