Drought forces Concord splash park to delay opening

CONCORD, Calif. (KTVU) – It's that time of year when Bay Area splash parks bring relief to children from the heat, but the drought has forced the city of Concord to delay its annual park opening.

Meadow Homes Spray Park on Detroit Avenue usually opens the first weekend in May, but instead will open this year on Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 23.

Yolanda Guzman said her granddaughter and the neighborhood kids will be disappointed about waiting a few more weeks until the splash park opens. "We were so excited," Guzman said. "I had the towels ready for tomorrow, but it's OK. It's not a big deal. We can wait," she said.

Concord's Director of Public Works Justin Ezell said the park will also operate on reduced hours, which should result in the water park using 25 percent less water. Ezell said the changes are just a few of the many conservation measures the city is taking to meet its water reduction goal of 40 percent this year.

The water at the park is treated and re-circulated, but the city does have to replenish the water lost to evaporation and splash out.

Ezell said there are no plans to shut down the water park until the drought is over.

"We take this drought very seriously," Ezell said. "But we don't want to shut down the park completely."

Meadow Homes Spray Park in Concord will be open Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. and noon to 6 p.m. on weekend.

Concord is following in the footsteps of cities like San Jose and Dublin that have reduced hours at their splash parks.

Livermore's Lizzie Fountain has also been reduced by about four hours per day.

Danville said it has shut off the water features at its four town parks this year as they did last year because of the drought.