The California Pool and Spa Association is putting out a call to our members, members of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, and any concerned members of the pool and spa industry in Southern California to come together at a city council meeting. The city of Camarillo is meeting today, October 14th to discuss a possible ban on all building permits for swimming pools in the city. Such an action would effectively put all pool builders in the city and surrounding areas in danger of going out of business, and have a devastating impact on not just those who own those businesses but the entire local economy. There are already several restrictions in place in Camarillo that impact the industry in the area, as the city’s water supplier Camrosa Water District is currently at stage 2 of their water restrictions and prohibits filling or refilling of swimming pools more than one foot. However a valid building permit still allows for the construction and filling of a new pool, but this new ordinance by the city council will make that impossible. This measure uniquely and unfairly targets a single industry as a means of reducing water usage, a strategy that has been determined again and again to not only be detrimental to the economy but also not produce any real water savings.
Swimming pools are not water wasters: they save tens of thousands of gallons of water compared to the traditional landscaping they replace, generate substantial local and state revenue through taxes, and provide the highest economic impact of any industry per acre-foot of water with the exception of high-tech. Independent studies have shown that newly-constructed swimming pools save more than 10,000 gallons of water during their first year alone and 30,000 gallons a year thereafter. Furthermore, data from water districts like Santa Margarita have determined that a pool with a cover significantly reduces evaporation and results in less water being used than even drought-resistant landscaping over a five year period. In some regions, pool and spa businesses who survived the Great Recession are now unfairly forced to shoulder the burden of drought restrictions by often being the only industry that is effectively put out of business.
It is critical that the industry come together to speak out against this prohibition and make our voices heard. This action is little more than an empty symbol that would shut down hard working local businesses without any appreciable water savings to show for it. If you work in Camarillo, please attend the city council meeting on Wednesday, October 14th at 5:00 PM, located at the Camarillo City Council Chambers at 601 Carmen Drive in Camarillo. If you are not close enough to attend the meeting yourself, please take a moment to send this post to someone who is. Time and again we have found that when our members show up and speak out, we are successful. The city has already received some of our materials and taken our viewpoint into consideration, so if enough concerned individuals attend the meeting to share how they will be negatively impacted by this symbolic and ineffective ban, there is a good chance that we can prevent this before it is enacted. We can’t do this without you.