Today is Earth Day, and conserving water is one of the key environmental goals at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Water has always played an important role in creating a magical environment in the parks and resorts. But did you know that nearly all the water used at the Disneyland Resort is recycled?

The Disneyland Resort began this practice in 2008 through a partnership with the Orange County Water District (OCWD) when we first drained Paradise Bay in preparation for “World of Color.” Rather than sending the water down storm drains into the ocean, we worked with OCWD and diverted the water to its innovative Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS).

“We are so fortunate to have the GWRS  — the world’s largest water purification project of its kind — right in our backyard,” said Frank Dela Vara, director of environmental affairs at the Disneyland Resort. “We wanted to take advantage of the possibility of recycling all of our water, so we embarked on a multiyear project that put the infrastructure in place to allow it to happen. Today, almost all the water used at the Resort is recycled in this manner.”

“Disneyland Resort proactively took steps to significantly reduce its net water use and sets a great example for other businesses and organizations to follow,” said Cathy Green, OCWD president. “Our partnership with Disney demonstrates how public and private agencies can best work together to promote sustainability.”

At the GWRS water undergoes a state-of-the-art purification process. Then the water is released into Orange County’s groundwater aquifer. Clean water is drawn from the aquifer by local water agencies and distributed to end-users such as homes and businesses. So, the water Orange County residents get when they turn on their taps could be the same water they sailed over on the Mark Twain Riverboat during their last visit to the Disneyland Resort.