Bay Area businesses targeted by new water mandates react to restrictions

BURLINGAME, Calif. (KGO) -- The governor named specific businesses in his order to reduce water use, places known for rolling hills of green grass, such as colleges, cemeteries and golf courses.

Crystal Springs Golf Course is hard to picture without green grass and the same goes for cemeteries, but some are already finding creative ways to stay green while conserving water.

"Golf is just a game. I enjoy it. Greener green are nice, but..." said Flor Pascual a San Bruno resident.

VIDEO: Governor Brown orders mandatory water restrictions

As far as golfers are concerned, brown grass won't keep them from playing.

"If they have to turn brown, then we just have to putt on brown greens, you know? Because we need water in more important places than the golf course, that's for sure," said San Francisco golfer Gregory Tyson.

Governor Brown agrees. Part of his executive order mandates colleges, golf courses and cemeteries to significantly reduce water usage.

Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma is well on its way.

"Last year, we made a 30 to 40 percent cutback in our usage," said Monica Williams, director of cemetaries for the San Francisco archdiocese.

Holy Cross irrigates with its own well water and it's down to watering every other day, or less. It's implemented a tree planting program. The shade helps with water retention.

"We want it to look good everyday right now, but we have to make sure it's going to look good in the next 100 years and if in order to do that we need to cut back more severely right now, then that's what we need to do," Williams added.

The general manager at Skylawn Cemetery in San Mateo is also thinking long term. He's already making changes to the sprinkler system.

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"The controllers we have been purchasing are all smart controllers," said Brian Kestenblatt, general manager of Skylawn Cemetery. "They're all set up to work through satellite and basically weather patterns."

The cemetery is even looking at ways to collect the runoff from heavy fog and is considering astroturf in some gardens.

Skylawn gets its water from Crystal Springs Reservoir, so saving water means saving money.

For water rebate information from Bay Area water suppliers, click here. And click here for tips on how to conserve.

For full coverage on the drought, click here.
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