Should Californians tear up their lawns and replace them with swimming pools?


In a recently launched “drought education” campaign, trade group the California Pool and Spa Association (CPSA) suggests that installing a backyard swimming hole is an effective — and super-fun! — way to conserve water as the state’s historic dry spell enters its fourth year.

In fact, the Let’s Pool Together campaign claims that mindfully maintained residential swimming pools require far less water than lush, irrigated lawns. Citing “independent studies,” the campaign trumpets the fact that swimming pools, of which there are an estimated 1.8 million private ones in California, use roughly half the amount of water that a lawn uses in the same period.

And as for that massive first fill, the campaign claims that the average amount of water needed to fill a new pool in its first year, 26,250 gallons, is still less — about 3,750 gallons less — than the amount of precious H2O needed to maintain a 800-square-foot lawn’s desired shade of non-brown. The savings can grow even greater in subsequent years after the pool is first installed and filled.

Many water experts believe that regularly irrigated traditional lawns and residential pools use around the same amount of water, although there is indeed the potential for a pool to consume less depending on numerous different factors including size, age and maintenance.

CPSA Chairman Mike Geremia lays it all out in a news release:

Many people assume pools and spas waste water, but that’s just not true. Because pools and spas often 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.

Read more here on

Photo by oatsy40

About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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