Splash pads are fun and a great way for kids to cool down. That being said, are splash pads a waste of fresh water and our local tax dollars?

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Splash Pads

Young Girl Playing in a Fountain at a Splash Pad
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I know that splash pads are a blast for kids. I have even taken my son to a couple before and he loved the experience. When I say a couple, it was two times and he's nine years old.

Adorable little runs runs through a spalsh pad
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I have only taken my son to two splash pads because I have always felt they are a waste of fresh water when we live in a state where virtually every county has multiple lakes, rivers, and streams, not to mention the fact we are surrounded by the Great Lakes.

jump splashing pool
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I am not trying to be a Scrooge or the Grinch by asking the question are splash pads a waste of fresh water and local tax dollars?

America's Water Crisis

Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images
Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images
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It's no secret that the western part of the United States is having more than its share of water issues. Lake Mead is part of the Colorado River system and you can in the picture above where the water line used to be on the mountainside.

Mario Tama/Getty Images
Mario Tama/Getty Images
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Water scarcity in the United States is not just an environmental problem but one that will affect the future of many parts of this country. Don't even bet me started on the drought that is going on in California and the southwest portion of the country.

Great Lakes Water Level is Down

Star Tribune via Getty Images
Star Tribune via Getty Images
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It was just a few years ago and some people were in fear of Lake Michigan absorbing their lakeside homes. Now the water is going the other way. We are not having the winters we used to and less snow means less water. This same issue is going on out west except they are in much worse shape than we are, at least for now.

Vector Map of the U.S. state of Michigan
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It is easy for us Michiganders to take water for granted but like our neighbors out west, if we are not careful we could wind up in the same boat, you know the one that is on land because there is no water.

How Much Water Does a Splash Pad Use Per Day?

Xinhua News Agency via Getty Ima
Xinhua News Agency via Getty Ima
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How much water on average does a splash pad use in a day? Well according to Recreation Management, the average splash pad uses nearly 55,000 gallons of water per day. To put that into perspective, if an average splash pad is open 112 days for the summer, that is over 6 million gallons of fresh water gone. In West Michigan alone there are over 30 splash pads and if you multiply that by 6.16 million gallons of water now you have wasted nearly 185,000000 million gallons of water per day. Wouldn't that solve the water problem in Muskegon or Flint if they had new pipelines?

How Much Do Splash Pads Cost to Build?

The Washington Post via Getty Images
The Washington Post via Getty Images
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On average splash pads cost cities hundreds of thousands of dollars not to mention the cost of the upkeep and the water that is used to run these. That is money that could be used to fix bad water lines and supply systems.

Clean Fresh Water is a Necessity

Pitcher pouring a glass of water
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Clean fresh water is a necessity and not a luxury. I know Michigan has plenty of water which means splash pads are not a necessity. If there is a water shortage in Michigan, the first thing that will get turned off are the splash pads.

We have enough lakes, rivers, and streams in the Mitten state to stay cool so do we really need splash pads?

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