Pools and the California drought: A quick look at the numbers

iStock_000010113881XXXLarge (1)There’s no doubt the California drought has affected the pool industry, but are media reports that Californians are filling in their pools en masse accurate? 

Despite the drought, a recent Metrostudy report shows pool construction in California rose from 6,070 permits pulled in 2013 to 7,669 permits pulled in 2014 — a 26.3 percent increase. In the first three quarters of 2015, nearly 5,000 permits were pulled, with just under 400 demolition permits.

Perhaps the real question is, does filling in the backyard pool save water and compared to what? Are there ways to make a pool more water wise than a lawn?

A California Pool and Spa Association study completed this summer said the average pool uses less water than a typical lawn, citing a savings of as much as 18,000 gallons per year. Another study by the Santa Margarita Water District found that while the first filling of a pool uses thousands of extra gallons, pools generally save 8,000 gallons per year compared to a lawn.

When planning a pool, building smaller pool with a large deck and plants that are indigenous to desert climate or don’t require much water can save even more water.

How a homeowner manages their pool can also improve water efficiency. Using a pool cover and keeping the water temperature cooler will reduce evaporation, while maintaining water balance will reduce the need to drain or backwash the pool. Using a Clear Comfort system can also reduce how often a pool needs to be backwashed or drained by reducing the chemical domino chain set off by heavy chlorine use and by keeping the water clean, clear and contaminant free.

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Lauren McNitt

Marketing Director at Clear Comfort
Lauren loves swimming during the summer and relaxing in a hot tub after skiing, but the harsh chemicals limit the time she can spend in a pool. She's excited to bring Clear Comfort to others who share her enjoyment of swimming. Lauren is the Director of Marketing for Clear Comfort.