As the California Pool and Spa Association continues to report local drought restrictions and provide input for statewide water-efficiency laws, its parent association has placed a lobbyist in Arizona to deal with anticipated legislation there.

Last October, CPSA merged with the National Swimming Pool Foundation to form The Pool, Spa & Aquatics Alliance. The California arm of the national Alliance continues to do business as the CPSA. But its executive director, John Norwood, had his position broadened to national government relations director for the Alliance. As such he now oversees government advocacy efforts across the nation.

In its first move outside of California, the group has hired a government advocate in Arizona.

“Arizona’s going through a lot of water issues right now,” Norwood said. “And there were rumors about various bills, one of which would have affected the pool industry, so we’re trying to be proactive in that area.”

In California, the group is confronting an unusual situation: By 2020, the City of Santa Monica wants to achieve water self-sufficiency, meaning it can subsist off its own water supply. As part of the move in that direction, it has adopted a water neutrality ordinance, meant to assure that new developments do not use more water than was historically consumed on the parcel before.

The city may begin to apply stricter standards to pools and spas than those currently being considered for statewide regulations that are in the works. For instance, Santa Monica may require homeowners to compensate for water used in the pool. When applying for a building permit, the contractor or owner would have to calculate how many gallons of new water the pool is expected to use. To offset that gallonage, pool owners would have to retrofit their properties to use less water, or pay for the installation of new water-efficient toilets, showerheads and/or faucet aerators on other properties in the city.

To calculate new water usage, homeowners must fill out a form, which currently does not account for water that would be used if the space were occupied by lawn and plantings.

“Instead all of the water in the pool is considered ‘new,’ meaning that the homeowner must offset a truly staggering amount even if, in fact, they end up using less water than they did before!” CPSA said in a press release.

The organization is communicating with the city.

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