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Phoenix parks working to preserve water, avoid restrictions

PHOENIX — As water preservation continues to be a hot topic in the southwest, the City of Phoenix says it’s been taking steps to keep city parks efficient and looking nice.

Rick Templeton, a water conservationist with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, said thanks to some forward thinking years ago, the Salt River Project has provided a steady source of water and helped Phoenix avoid the troubles places with depleting water supplies have undergone, such as California.

“We have a large supply of water through the Salt River system,” he said.

Nevertheless, Templeton said the city needs to continue looking to preserve water and has begun implementing changes to do so.

He said technology is playing a role in helping parks that have large amounts of grass avoid using too much water.

“We’ve really invested in our parks with new technology over the last few years so we can remotely monitor and remotely control things and have what we call a weather-based system,” Templeton said. “Once the weather changes, so does our irrigation scheduling.”

Phoenix has also looked to change the way it designs parks to make them more efficient, Templeton said.

“We’re trying to use more natural shrubs and trees, so more of the native plant material that require less water,” he said.

Templeton said the city has done a good job of managing its water resources, but the city needs to continue efforts to preserve water to ensure that as Phoenix continues to grow, the city does not eventually face restrictions.