Are we Drought Shaming Pool Owners?

drought shamingHas the drought made you feel ashamed you have a pool? You try to reason to your drought shaming critics: “But, I bought my home before the drought,” “Hey, you guys were over here last summer playing in this pool,” “This pool loses less water to evaporation than grass.” It all falls on deaf ears. You are the victim of drought shaming.

Drought Shaming is Widespread!

Drought shaming is bigger than just some neighborhood discussion. It has gone state-wide into the legal sphere where cities are creating drought ordinances against pool owners.  Some are much more strict that others. One of the strictest, Rancho Santa Margarita, California, proposed an ordinance that would ban refilling or filling a pool if it falls more than a foot below water line.

What can you say to drought shaming on such a grand level? Opponents of this drought shaming bill offer up facts. The fact most politicians forget is that a pool loses less than half the water a lawn does due to evaporation. There is a good way to even stop that evaporation… cover your pool! The point is that there is no reason to ban refilling pools unless you are going to make lawn owners water so infrequently that their lawns would die. Throwing facts at people when they are drought-shaming has no effect.

People adore hearing the easy answer to the drought and it’s attendant problems. It is satisfying on some basic, “I knew it had to be this or that,” sort of way. However,  drought shaming, global environmental change, and pool evaporation rates versus lawns tend to evade our intuition. We have to be wary of the answer spoken by the city councils. It may be the solution that is easy to hear but it may also be inaccurate and drought shaming for no good reason.