That's artificial turf you're looking at. Those are real sprinklers popping up through the artificial turf. That's real water coming from the sprinklers. I'll flaunt my expertise here, but artificial turf doesn't need to be irrigated (unless someone dumps a Coke on it or a stray jackal upchucks a bit of wildebeest carrion).
I received this curious, unimaginably absurd image from Alison Jordan, Water Conservation Coordinator for the City of Santa Barbara.
Once I got up off the ground and finished wiping my eyes, I pondered the amazing series of events that would lead to a situation like this. I'll assume they didn't install the pop-up heads specifically for this project. There are some weird people on the planet, but I just can't fathom a thought process that resulted spending money to install an irrigation system for Astroturf. God have mercy if I'm wrong.
I'll guess there used to be turf in this strip and someone decided to replace it with faux grass. Lower maintenance, looks "neat." I'll not comment on fake turf here, but I'm not a fan, for a number of reasons.
But someone had to have noticed during the prep stages of the installation that there was a sprinkler system in place. Duh! They CUT HOLES in the plastic to allow the heads to rise!!!
I can't go on. Please leave a comment and provide SOME logical explanation other than "just because we all walk upright and have opposable thumbs, we're not all of the same species."