Credit: Tomas Castelazo

The California Pool and Spa Association is preparing to launch its drought-awareness program, called "Let's Pool Together," at the Western Pool and Spa Show later this week.

With California suffering the worst drought since 1895, the pool and spa industry there has been dealing with water restrictions or the threat of them. While most restrictions have been experienced in the northern part of the state, CPSA said they may be headed south.

To mitigate the existing and potential restrictions, the CPSA, formerly known as SPEC, has begun launching a campaign to educate officials and consumers about the true water use of pools and spas and counter the characterization of pools as water wasters. "Our goal is to demonstrate that the industry is part of the solution, not part of the problem," the organization said.

Last month, CPSA hired the Sacramento public relations firm Miller Pubic Affairs to help the organization develop a message and materials to convey it. It has worked with CPSA to develop fact sheets for government officials, as well as door hangers, bill stuffers and other materials for consumers.

The campaign, called "Let's Pool Together," will be rolled out twice this week -- once for the Sacramento area industry and another for the industry at large. A meeting takes place tonight, March 11, at the Foundation for Pool and Spa Industry Education from 6:00 to 9:00, hosted by APSP’s Sacramento Chapter.

At the Western Show in Long Beach, the group will have a kick-off reception to introduce the industry to the newly retooled organization as well as the water-awareness campaign. The event takes place Thursday, March 13, 5:00 to 6:00 at the Long Beach Convention Center, just outside the entrance to the Western Show's Exhibit Hall. The new informational materials and media kits will be made available, and a micro website dedicated to drought materials will be introduced.

The CPSA is trying to raise $200,000 to fund the "Let's Pool Together" campaign. It has collected $50,000 so far.