PLEASANTON (CBS SF) — Ducks and birds may be dismayed by the loss of a decorative pond in a Pleasanton business park, but during the drought California drinking water needs to be conserved.

At Stoneridge Corporate Plaza in Pleasanton, they’re proud of their commitment to the environment.

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So last week, when they applied for a “green” certification from the city, the water conservation inspector who came out was a little surprised.

Pleasanton water conservation technician Jacklyn Cordes said, “There was fountains and rivers and ponds and water falls. Water was everywhere. It was like a whole different world as I walked in there.”

The city pointed out its Stage 3 drought emergency and the ordinance banning all use of fresh drinking water for decorative purposes. So, the complex quickly shut everything off and drained the ponds. But that’s not sitting well with Erika Christiansen whose office looks down on the now-dry landscape.

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Christiansen works at Stoneridge Corporate Plaza and said, “There’s an ecosystem there…a thriving ecosystem. There’s tons of birds, ducks that come here every spring, uh, squirrels and they all depend on this pond.”

Christiansen took a photo of one of the ducks returning to the pond Thursday afternoon. She says she understands shutting off fountains that are just for looks, but she says an exception should be made for ponds that animals may call home.

“I mean, now where are they gonna go? I know they’re just a couple of ducks but…how far is too far? Maybe THIS is too far,” Christiansen said.

Cordes said the ducks will be okay.

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“You know, humans right now need drinking water. And since there are other areas for animals to fly to or scurry to…we would like to save that for drinking purposes,” Cordes said.