Getty drains pools, turns off fountains to save water amid drought

View of the courtyard fountain in front of the West Pavilion of the Getty Center.
(Robbin Goddard / Los Angeles Times)

The decision to drain most water features at Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades this summer may not be going over well with some visitors, but the organization says thousands of gallons a day have been saved as a result.

The order to turn off the fountains and drain most pools came after Gov. Jerry Brown made two voluntary emergency declarations this year, calling on residents to do what they can to conserve water.

Although some pools with plant life and fish were kept operational, the water fountains have been dry this month, and will remain turned off until the drought declarations have been lifted, Getty spokesman Ron Hartwig said.


Turning off the water fountains has helped the Getty save roughly 2,500 gallons of water a day, he said.

Museum officials posted signs at both locations, advising visitors about the drought and the water fountains.

Public reaction, Hartwig said, has been mixed.

Some visitors have expressed disappointment with the lack of water features, but overall, Hartwig said, “the compliments outweigh the negative.”

“The water fountains are a beautiful part of the Getty’s landscape,” he said.

The Getty’s move is just one very visible reaction to a drought that is only worsening across California.

Meanwhile, the state reported last week that water consumption has declined only modestly.

Last week, nearly 33% of the state faces “exceptional” drought conditions, up from about 25% the week before, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.


Every part of California remains in what is considered severe drought.

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