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Businesses adopt new conservation measures amid drought




SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 15:  Sprinklers water a lawn in Golden Gate Park on July 15, 2014 in San Francisco, California. As the California drought continues to worsen and voluntary conservation is falling well below the suggested 20 percent, the California Water Resources Control Board is considering a $500 per day fine for residents who waste water on landscaping, hosing down sidewalks and car washing.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 15: Sprinklers water a lawn in Golden Gate Park on July 15, 2014 in San Francisco, California. As the California drought continues to worsen and voluntary conservation is falling well below the suggested 20 percent, the California Water Resources Control Board is considering a $500 per day fine for residents who waste water on landscaping, hosing down sidewalks and car washing. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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California residents have had to adopt new water conservation measures following Gov. Jerry Brown's mandate. But what about businesses? 

Places like hotels and restaurants can consume a lot of the wet stuff. But that has only inspired folks to get creative. Like John Cox, an executive chef at Sierra Mar restaurant at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, California. Rather than using water to rinse out plates, his restaurant uses compressed air to blow leftover food off the dishes. 

"I was looking to store the compressor somewhere and I kind of found a little nook underneath our dish station and that's when it really clicked," says Cox. 

Universities alike have sought new drought-friendly ways to keep their grounds looking fresh. California State University, Northridge President Dianne Harrison says students are among the staunches supporters of water conservation on campus. The campus has implemented turf removal, saving around 2.6 million gallons of water every year. 

"We want our students to know, 'where does this water come from?' It's not just out of your tap," says Harrison. 

Luxury hotels, like The Langham Huntington in Pasadena, with three lush gardens and a fountain in the front driveway, has also found new ways to save water. The property has planted succulents and cut back on irrigation to once a week. And as for the fountain? That's being drained and replaced with flowers. 

"Guests are presented with our hotel newsletter...and on the newsletter it has information about the fact that we are in the drought and some of the conservation strategies that we've implemented just so there are no surprises," says Susan Williger, director of communications for the hotel.