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East Bay Residents Unhappy Over $36M Water Park Construction

DUBLIN (CBS SF) — In the middle of a fourth year of drought in California, construction is underway for a massive, $36 million water park in the East Bay of San Francisco.

The Contra Costa Times reported work has started on the Emerald Glen Aquatic Center about 35 miles east of the city.

The building comes as Gov. Jerry Brown in April ordered a statewide 25-percent cut in water use by cities and towns. Communities that already have been saving get a smaller share of the cut, and big water-users a bigger share.

The Dublin City Council approved the 31,000-square-foot water park in February after a decade of planning. Requests to downsize the project or scrap came in right away.

Phil Duncan, who lives near the park, "Hey, time out, this is not the right project at the right time."

While he doesn't want the project there at all, Duncan said it really doesn't make sense to build it when there's so little water available.

INFOGRAPHIC: How Much Water Are You Really Consuming?

"Obviously this has been in the works for some time. But the reality is we're in the midst of a historic drought and you cannot go forward with something like this, in these conditions, in good conscience," Duncan said.

Even kids, who will enjoy the park the most, have questions about the timing. "Kind of weird, it's a drought. Why are they gonna use all that water for a water park?" said Evan Rusconi.

Residents want the money spent on parks and other neighborhood amenities. About 480,000 gallons of water will be needed to fill the park pools.

"When we finish the project and it's still in a drought and we can't fill the pools, we'll address it at that point in time. But we are moving forward with the project as planned," Dublin parks director Paul McCreary told KPIX 5.

Right now, Dublin's water restrictions forbid the filling of any empty swimming pools. The city is hoping the weather will change by the time they open their new water park in two years.

TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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