Getty Museum Shuts Off Fountains Amid Severe California Drought

Anti-drought measures save Getty 2,500 gallons of water per day.

A shut off fountain and drained pool at the Getty Villa. Photo: Courtesy the Getty Museum, Los Angeles, via Facebook.

Los Angeles’s Getty Museum is saving about 2,500 gallons of water per day thanks to its decision to shut down most of its fountains and pools of water as part of an effort to conserve water during California’s ongoing severe drought, reports the Los Angeles TImes.

Some museum visitors have been sorry not to be able to experience the striking water features at the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, but the museum believes that saving water is more important. California governor Jerry Brown has made two emergency declarations this year, which, while voluntary, call on the state’s residents to do their part to limit water use during the drought.

According to Getty spokesperson Ron Hartwig, who spoke with the Times, the fountains and pools, which have been dry all month, will not be refilled until the government sees fit to lift the drought declarations.

The entirety of California is experiencing severe drought, with the percentage of the state that faces “exceptional” drought levels up from 25 percent to nearly 33 percent this week alone, according to the US Drought Monitor. Unfortunately, the state claims to have seen only a modest reduction in water use across California despite rapidly worsening conditions (see last week’s report from the Los Angeles Times).

At the deactivated water features, the museum has posted signs explaining the serious nature of the drought and the importance of saving water until the crisis has passed. A small number of pools that sustain plant life and are home to fish are still in operation.

Hartwig admits that “the water fountains are a beautiful part of the Getty’s landscape,” and not everyone is happy to see the empty fountains and basins. Most visitors though, are understanding, and “the compliments outweigh the negative.”

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