Some residents are wondering why a temporary moratorium on putting in swimming pools isn’t part of the 14-point plan the Manteca City Council is considering when they meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. to deal with the governor’s mandate that water urban water use by slashed 25 percent below 2013 levels.
A typical 450 square-foot pool that is six feet deep requires 20,250 gallons to fill. Based on a 2013 digital analysis of every swimming pool in the Los Angeles Basin by Joseph Lee and Benedikt Cross that was part of the “Big Atlas of LA,” they identified 43,123 swimming pools. They determined those pools contained a combined 2,300 acre feet of water. Furthermore hydrologists working with the pair estimated there would be 2,000 acre feet of water loss to evaporation annually if all of the pools did not have pool covers. Experts contend pool covers reduce water loss of 30 to 50 percent in arid areas such as Los Angeles and the San Joaquin Valley.
Richard Fleener, who lives in a neighborhood east of Highway 99, noted that a swimming pool is now being excavated in his neighborhood. Fleener believes it is only fair since there is now a smaller supply of water that builders should not be allowed to construct more homes to cut into what remains nor should pool builders continue putting stress on water supplies during the duration for the drought.
While Fleener’s position may not gain traction at the council level, it is a legitimate point. If the council doesn’t do anything else regarding swimming pools they should at least mandate that all new ones constructed during the drought have pool covers considering the significant evaporation rate.