Drought Update: CPSA Meets with Governor

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CPSA President John Norwood met with California Governor Jerry Brown and 17 other stakeholders last week to discuss the impact of the drought on important business industries and what methods are being utilized to conserve water. Other business representatives from corporations like Home Depot and Starbucks to small associations composed of landscapers and cemetery operators offered meaningful suggestions to help reduce water use but also alleviate the hindrance the drought imposes on economic development. A consensus was reached that water use must be slowed without discriminating against individual industries that would curtail recovery from the Great Recession. 

CPSA described to the governor the difficulty it has faced in responding to restrictions as there are 482 municipalities and more than 700 water districts who all have the legal jurisdiction to prohibit the construction of new pools and the refilling of existing pools. The governor and his staff were intrigued to learn specifically what cities and districts were imposing these prohibitions and CPSA is already preparing a thorough list of places where these restrictions are being adopted. 

It was an educational meeting, as the facts surrounding the water saved by installing swimming pools and using pool covers are unfortunately not known by many government officials who are under pressure to make severe cutbacks or face punitive fines. This education process is ongoing. The meeting with the governor and his staff provided another opportunity to demonstrate the economic implications of measures under consideration in cities and water districts that could jeopardize a $5 billion industry. 

Since the beginning of 2013, CPSA has spearheaded a campaign to inform the public and public officials about savings that pools provide and to offer additional practices that can further curb water use. For example, pools use about half the water of the landscape they typically replace, and use even less water than drought resistant landscaping when a pool cover is used. 

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