Beat the drought - install a pool

Tuesday, 09 June, 2015

As California enters the fourth consecutive year of ‘dry weather’ (we’d call that drought here in Australia), focus is turning to swimming pools and their impact on the environment. Contrary to popular thinking, the California Pool and Spa Association (CPSA) is suggesting that pools are actually a less water-intensive alternative to large irrigated lawns and should be encouraged as a drought-friendlier landscaping option.

The eco-centric Mother Nature Network (MNN) website is reporting on the efficacy of CPSA’s ‘Let’s Pool Together’ campaign and its claims that a swimming pool uses roughly half the amount of water that an irrigated lawn does.

CPSA’s chairman, Mike Geremia, thinks pools are being targeted unfairly and is quoted in the organisation’s recent media release as saying, “Because pools and spas replace traditional lawns, which are very water intensive, every pool and spa actually saves thousands of gallons of water per year. Yet even with those water savings, we know there are steps pool and spa owners can take this summer to potentially save even more. That’s why we’re launching the Let’s Pool Together campaign - to ensure that pool and spa owners do their part during the drought.”

According to the article, CPSA claims that the average amount of water needed to fill a new pool in its first year (about 26,250 gallons) is about 3750 gallons less than what is needed to keep a significant lawn watered. MNN is not so convinced by CPSA’s argument and suggests that for the numbers to really add up, the pool would need to perform a number of additional tasks including clothes laundering, bathing and a few other unmentionable acts of ablution.

MNN would rather see irrigation-intensive lawns replaced by drought-friendly landscaping than new pools, but does concede that the Let’s Pool Together campaign at least presents a few sensible tips to help lessen the impact including: installing pool covers to reduce evaporation, reductions in pool heating, disabling fountains and other water features, and regular maintenance inspections and cleaning.

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