The CPSA has produced many different informational materials for our members to provide to their customers in order to educate them about the realities of the drought and what they as pool and spa owners can do to help. These materials are included with membership and can be downloaded directly for members to print out themselves if they wish.
These resources, including bill stuffers, fact sheets, and door hangers, can be found in our resources section under the heading of “Drought Awareness Materials“. Previews can also be found below.
One of the many ways that the CPSA is dedicated to serving its members is by actively working with local water boards and districts in order to educate them about the water usage of pools and spas. These water boards, of which there are more than 600 in the state of California, have the power to impose restrictions on how the water in their jurisdiction is used, and in times of drought some of those boards make the unfortunate choice of targeting the pool and spa industry in an effort to save water.
The CPSA works to prevent and reverse these regulations by setting up meetings with water districts in order to inform them of the facts about the water used by pools. We have found more often than not the districts who have put restrictions on pool filling or refilling are not actually aware of how little water pools use, and when we have met with them and laid out our presentations we have achieved positive results.
We also encourage our members to join us in the effort to communicate with local water boards, as the sheer number that exist make it difficult for us to tackle every single one on our own. By getting involved and being active with their water districts our members are able to take a leadership role and make a difference in how their businesses can run. To empower business owners to do this we have created draft versions of the letters we use to reach districts and the PowerPoint presentations that we have used to make our case, and these resources can be tailored to your area and your needs.
We are currently working on compiling a comprehensive list of governmental, association, and other resources with information on the drought. Check back soon for more details.
One of the worst droughts in California history has provoked some elected officials to hastily propose and implement local ordinances that discriminate against the pool and spa industry. To combat these misguided attempts, the CPSA has launched a two-pronged drought awareness campaign that educates elected officials regarding swimming pool water use and informs consumers of further water conservation practices. These efforts seek to inform people of the fact that the average swimming pool uses less than half the water a lawn requires.
The CPSA has already produced materials that include billing stuffers for pool industry professionals to distribute to customers, fact sheets regarding water use for both consumers and lawmakers, and door hangers which highlight a variety of methods for pool and spa owners to conserve water. In the upcoming weeks, the CPSA will unveil media and speaker kits to equip local industry members with the tools needed to combat these misinformed attempts that would dismantle small business jobs, cost the economy millions in lost revenues, and push the work into the underground economy.
Donations from industry leaders have already netted in approximately $100,000, bringing the association nearly halfway to its $200,000 goal. The California Pool and Spa Association is using the money raised by the Drought Crisis Fund to ensure that the pool and spa industry does not become the target of unfair legislation by spreading awareness of the facts surrounding the pool industry and combating misinformed and malicious media campaigns. The fund has been backed by incredibly generous donations from organizations such as $20,000 from the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, $15,000 from the Independent Pool and Spa Service Association, $15,000 from Premier Pools and Spas,$15,000 from Poolcorp, $10,000 from HASA, $10,000 from Pentair, $5,000 from Burkett’s Pool Plastering, $5,000 from Prestige Gunite, as well as very generous donations from individual members.
Please consider taking part in these ongoing efforts to protect the industry from unwarranted restrictions by making a donation. Any amount will help.
This week the CPSA Drought Crisis Committee retained Miller Public Affairs, one of the leading issue-management public relations firms in the state’s Capital, to lead the association’s efforts in developing materials and strategies to implement its statewide drought crisis campaign. Miller Public Affairs will work with CPSA to educate the public and public policy makers at the state and local levels on the facts about water use by swimming pools and spas and the economic, health and social impacts of the swimming pool industry in California. “This outreach campaign is not only designed to respond to the severe drought situation currently being experienced in California, but to create a digital template for a drought response strategy that can be quickly deployed in any state experiencing drought conditions that threaten to undermine the industry and the thousands of small businesses that depend on the pool and spa industry for their livelihoods,” said Mike Geremia, President of Geremia Pools and CPSA Chairman.
There are some 600 water agencies in California, 360 cities, 58 counties and a corresponding number of local building departments that can, through ordinances, resolutions and motions, vote to implement water use restrictions that can adversely affect the pool and spa industry. A crisis situation developed just after the beginning of the year with concentrated media reports on the severe drought situation fueled by announcements from federal and state authorities that water allotments from systems operated by these entities would severely cut or eliminate water allocations to agricultural interests and communities that rely on this supply of water. Almost immediately, several local water districts and building departments reacted by proposing to implement restrictions on the use of water to fill new or remodeled pools. There have also been a number of misinformed articles written by media sources and comments made by public officials that demonstrate a complete misunderstanding of how little water the pool and spa industry use as a percentage of urban water use.
CPSA, formerly SPEC, has faced similar threats during the California droughts of the 1970’s and 1990’s. The association fought off unreasonable and discriminatory restrictions on the pool and spa industry by implementing an aggressive public outreach and educational campaign. This same approach was subsequently utilized in other states facing similar situations. “The difference now is that information and news now travels much faster and reaction times to be effective are much shorter,” commented John Norwood, CPSA President. “It is essential that the materials for such a campaign be updated and modernized. We need to take a look at broader partnerships, implement metrics to test our messages and develop tools to quickly arm our members with the information necessary to respond immediately to discriminatory water restrictions being proposed in their communities. By digitalizing our outreach and public education materials, having speaker and media kits on line and developing a strong grassroots ability, we can fight off unfair and unwarranted restrictions on the industry and create an easily exportable template for when this issue arises in other states.”
Efforts to date have validated this approach. Just in the last few days water districts and cities in the Sacramento area have reversed proposals to restrict the use of their water systems to fill newly constructed and remodeled pools. Efforts by local pool professionals and CPSA members turned the tide by providing these districts with the facts on how little water is used by new and existing pools and the potential economic effect on many small businesses trying to recover from the economic downturn of the last several years. In these cases, the water district staff validated information provided by CPSA industry members and determined that water restrictions on the swimming pool industry were not warranted. This response demonstrates local pool professionals can make a difference. It shows the need to arm our members with the facts on water use by the pool industry so they can educate water districts and public agency members. Where the industry provides such information through locally affected small businesses, elected water district members, city councils and boards of supervisors will pay attention and respond positively.
“Although we are pleased by these examples of successful efforts, there is a lot of work to be done to get media and speaker kits in our members hands, on the CPSA website, and to implement other strategies statewide to respond to this crisis. We have a big job ahead of us just to raise the necessary dollars to fund these efforts,” concluded Mike Geremia.