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A new poll released on Tuesday shows how serious the drought situation in California is becoming. The Field Poll reported that almost all respondents believe that the state is in the midst of a water shortage, with two thirds of respondents saying that the drought has become “extremely serious”. These numbers are even higher than the results from a similar poll conducted during the drought in 1977, during which only half of those surveyed said that they felt the drought at the time was extremely serious.

While the feelings on the realities of the drought were fairly unanimous, when it came to deciding what was to blame for it the opinions were much more divided. Many said that inefficient water use was one of the drought’s main causes, while others said that it was due to insufficient water storage facilities, with a portion saying that it was a mix of both. These answers were further split between different regions of California: respondents in the Central Valley were much more likely to pin the problems on the lack of water storage, while those from the Bay Area felt that wasteful water use was more to blame.

But even though the numbers from the poll conducted by the Field Research Corp illustrate the severity of the drought that California is facing, there are also some heartening facts to be found in the data as well. A majority of those surveyed said that they would prefer to voluntarily reduce their water use by 20% instead of having mandatory water restrictions placed on them, a sign that bodes well for the future of water conservation as well as the pool and spa industry. A pool or spa that uses half as much water as an equivalent area of lawn is a step in the right direction towards cutting your personal water usage, and may be part of the solution when it comes to avoiding the mandatory restrictions that so many Californians dread.

There are no easy solutions to this drought. While we as a state would all like for there to be one, all-encompassing answer to how to fix the water shortage the truth is that it is going to take lots of hard work from every person and agency in the state, and the pool and spa industry is already doing our part to contribute. But that is just the beginning – it’s only by being an active voice in our communities that we as a group are able to not only protect ourselves but the future of our water. Talk to your local water districts about the importance of the industry, reach out to the customers in your area, or consider making a small donation to the Drought Crisis Fund – anything you can do will help.

The CPSA is doing our part to protect the future of the pool an spa industry – what will you do?