California Drought and Its Effect on the Pool Industry

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Pools have long been a staple of Californian culture, but as local governments enforce water restrictions, the pool industry could be looking at some dramatic shifts.

California’s water officials continue to paint a bleak picture of the state’s depleted water supplies as the state enters into July with 97% of the state experiencing at least a “severe” drought status. The pool industry has seen progress over the past few years despite rising construction costs, labor shortages, and continued manufacturers price increases. With restrictions and prohibitions going into place, how will the pool industry be affected by the drought in the state?

Adverse Effects of Water Restrictions

Water restrictions are often imposed upon homeowners, but with the pool industry being a major stimulant of local economies, these restrictions have greater implications. The pool and spa industry employs tens of thousands and has millions of dollars worth of economic output. Water restrictions, while imposed on the homeowner, can paint a picture of pools and spas being a waste of water when in actuality these industry specific restrictions have no more bearing than any other form of water restriction.

Pools and Water Usage

With 2015’s water crisis in mind, its important to make the distinction that pools are not a water waster. A well-maintained pool and its surrounding hardscaping will use much less water than a lawn of the same square footage in the same period. Let’s Pool Together, a campaign focused on educating the public on facts about water usage in the pool and spa industry also speaks on the usage required for new construction. They had this to say:

A SPEC research project in the Santa Clara Valley district showed that if 800 pools were built in a typical year and each were filled with 20,000 gallons of water, the 16 million gallons needed for initial filling of those pools would only comprise 4.5% of one day’s average water use. This means that all the water needed to fill all the new pools in the area would equal just one hour of typical public water use for this water district.

Usage aside, pools serve purposes than many wouldn’t even consider. For example, as California moves into its fire season, a number of these pools will serve as quick sources of water in efforts to fight fires. Some seasoned Californians are even equipped to use these makeshift reservoirs to dampen their own property lines in order to protect their own homes.

What Water Restrictions Do to the Industry

As the state of California continues to come out of its pandemic restrictions, misplaced restrictions on water usage specific to the pool and spa industry could mean less jobs and a hit to governmental revenue from building permits. It is important to continue educating potential clients about the benefits of pools, even in the wake of drought restrictions.

The California Pool Association (CPA) is a trade organization founded for independent pool service, repair and maintenance business owners. The association works on behalf of its members to provide affordable general liability insurance, wholesale pricing on equipment and supplies, and a vast professional network. Contact us today and find out how you can benefit from membership in the California Pool Association.