When it was announced that the company Slide the City plans to bring a giant, three-block-long waterslide to Downtown's Olive Street in September, it incited a whole lot of water-related feelings—some were incensed at what they saw as total insensitivity to the terrible drought the state is in; others just wanna have their slippery fun. Is the slide wasteful? Maybe! But is it worth it? How about when compared to some other frivolous (and not) things that Southern Californians use water for? Let's compare:
According to KCRW, the DTLA slip-and-slide would use anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 gallons of water during it's one-day run (most of which will go to a water reclamation plant afterward).
That's a lot of water, for sure, but it's also about how much the average swimming pool loses in a year to evaporation alone. (Considering that the average pool can hold 22,000 gallons, that's basically a pool's worth of water that's lost each year.) There are 43,123 pools in LA.
The average US golf course uses 312,000 gallons of water every day. EVERY DAY. Let's say the average golf course is open eight hours a day; that means that in one half hour, they're using about as much water as a full day of watersliding.
Carwashes aren't much better. The average out-of-home carwash uses 45 gallons of water per car, so that means that the equivalent of a slip-and-slide goes down the drain after about 440 cars are washed. Considering there are an estimated 500 carwashes in LA and many, many more cars, that probably doesn't take too long.
The Mulholland Memorial Fountain (which is NOT being shut off during the drought, but does use recirculated water) holds about 50,000 gallons of water, nearly three waterslides' worth of water. The Arthur J. Will Fountain in Grand Park? It and the pool beneath it can hold 110,000 gallons of water. That's a whole lot of slip-and-slides (about five and a half).
Even just going about our daily lives, says KCRW, the average Angeleno uses about 89 gallons of water a day, so by their count, the slide is akin to about 164 to 222 people's water usage on a normal day.
· L.A. Recreational Water Use By the Numbers [KCRW]
· Dueling petitions greet prospect of super-long wet banana slide in LA [SCPR]
· Three-Block-Long Slip-And-Slide Coming to Downtown LA [Curbed LA]