Park officials update White House on drought

Officials from the East Bay Regional Park District will participate in a White House water summit in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, updating the Obama administration on how they are addressing drought-stricken California’s water woes.

Park district general manager Robert Doyle will join representatives from about 200 other organizations for the White House Water Summit in Washington, D.C., to highlight the steps the district has taken to prepare for and respond to the state’s drought.

Doyle said in a statement:

“We’ve committed extensive resources to address water-related issues and this is a great opportunity to share our expertise.”

The event is described as an opportunity to gather stakeholders from state, local and tribal governments as well as those from the non-profit and private sectors for discussions on sustainable water solutions.

In conjunction with its involvement in the event, the roughly 120,000-acre East Bay Regional Park District announced a goal of saving 250 million gallons of water over the next five years.

District officials said the goal will be achieved by, among other measures, replacing some standard grasses in high water-use areas with drought-tolerant grasses.

Some of the other actions taken by the district in the past include switching to more efficient irrigation systems, thinning non-native vegetation and educating the public about water use.

Doyle said the district’s efforts seek:

“… not only to respond to the state’s 25 percent water-use reduction goal, but to implement strategies to make parks and communities more resilient to the consequences of our changing climate.”