By Jen Kastner
MIDLAND- New water wells at Midland Memorial Hospital look unassuming, but they're going to change the face of the hospital.
Two water wells are under construction on the campus. Steven Wilson with McCarthy Building Companies tells NewsWest 9, "The driller said he went 80 feet down and we'll have plenty of water to supply the hospital needs between this and the second well we drilled."
MMH President Russell Meyers says, "As the drought has evolved over the last couple of years, we've realized that we really needed to go with a xeriscape kind of plan."
They're going to stop buying water. Instead, they'll use what's underneath them. Wilson says, "They are drilling these wells to harvest water from the ground and not have to use the city's supply as they know the city's supply is depleted."
The cost to drill the wells and lay the piping is around $75,000.00. However, the hospital says it will pay itself off and eventually save them both money and water.
Meyers says, "We're a public entity and we're obligated to make sure our costs are as low as we can manage."
The wells will be connected to two massive rain harvesting tanks just a few hundred feet away. That water will be used to irrigate the entire hospital grounds.
Midland Memorial Hospital says they've always planned to be environmentally-friendly, from their remote heating-cooling systems to their extensive use of natural light throughout their buildings. When the water crisis hit, they knew they had to take their efforts a step further.
"We're creating what should be really a beautiful desert environment that doesn't need much water and so we won't waste that resource and we won't spend the money to buy it," Meyers said.