Statement on California Water Emergency
by Geoffrey Cowan, president, The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands
February 1, 2014
The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands has taken significant measures to reduce water usage. In consideration of the conditions that led Governor Brown to make a drought declaration, reducing water consumption is a more important priority than ever.
Among other significant investments in the past few years, Sunnylands has 1) installed a state-of-the-art irrigation system to manage water consumption, 2) installed an advanced water monitoring system to track usage and ensure efficiency 3) re-lined each of the lakes on the property to prevent water loss and seepage into the ground 4) aggressively launched a program that removed 60 acres of turf from the historic estate and golf course and 5) installed the infrastructure necessary to connect to the reclaimed water system as soon as it is available.
In addition, Sunnylands is actively exploring additional measures to reduce water consumption during the state of emergency. We are collecting data for an accurate water audit and are pursuing the most efficient practices for water use. Working with partners in research and academia, Sunnylands serves as a “living laboratory,” continuing to fulfill its mission as an historic venue for visitors and a beautiful place for meaningful meetings while also advancing sustainable practices.