CONCORD (KPIX 5) — It may seem wrong to have a water slide park open during California’s unprecedented drought.

But Waterworld in Concord kicked off its 20th season Saturday with a splash. The place was packed as precious water flowed through the water slides, the wave pool and the lazy river.

But the park’s managers insist Waterworld is heeding Governor Brown’s call to cut back on water and has gone on a strict water diet.

“We want to be known as the park that takes the drought seriously,” said Al Garcia, Director of Marketing and Sales.

Garcia says the Waterworld aims to cut water waste by 90% this year thanks to a machine called The Defender.

While the name sounds more like a new water park attraction, The Defender actually recycles pool water.

Garcia said the one million gallons it takes to fill the park will, with a few refills needed along the way, last the season.

“This is a new thing, and we are one of the first to try it out,” said Garcia.

“It’s good they’re recycling the water,” said park goer David Hogan.

“At least try and save it…or else shut down,” added his brother Damien.

Like golf courses, water parks have been in the spotlight for waste. The city of Dublin got a flood of grief for greenlighting an aquatic park during the fourth year of drought.

But Waterworld is riding a new wave. AstroTurf has replaced the grass. The grass is gone, plants are not getting watered and the pool water is never wasted. The park insists it’s not only recycled, it’s clean.

“Technically, you can drink out of them, but there is chlorine in our pools so we do advise not to drink the pool water,” said Garcia.

Waterworld said it will meet or even surpass the governor’s 25% water mandatory water cutbacks.

The park is slated to remain open until Fall.

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