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US: Why the Southern California pool industry went from ‘panic mode' to booming -- Press Enterprise

Found: Thu Jul 12 14:12:25 2018 PDT
Source: Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA)
Copyright: 2018 The Press-Enterprise Company
Contact: http://www.pe.com/localnews/opinion/letters_form.html
Website: http://www.pe.com/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/830
Webpage: https://www.pe.com/2018/07/12/why-the-sout... [translate]
Author: Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG
Newshawk: http://drugpolicycentral.com/bot/


topical analysis
prison was NOT mentioned
propaganda analysis

Why the Southern California pool industry went from ‘panic mode' to booming -- Press Enterprise Why the Southern California pool industry went from ‘panic mode' to booming -- Press Enterprise * News + Investigations * News

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Why the Southern California pool industry went from ‘panic mode' to booming

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Martin Rivera, right, and Adam Hatcher, in Bobcat, break up an in-ground pool and patio at a house on Pawlet Circle in Fountain Valley on Friday, July 6, 2018. The owners were having the 11 x 26-foot pool filled in with dirt. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

During the five-year California drought, water agencies complied with mandatory, state-ordered conservation measures.

Homeowners let lawns go brown or replaced turf with drought-resistant landscaping. Low-flow showerheads, faucets and regulated sprinkler time were the new normal.

Installing a backyard swimming pool? That became almost shameful, viewed as a waste of water, an environmental taboo.

Sales plummeted, according to John Norwood, chief of government relations for the California Pool and Spa Association, a trade and lobbying group based in Sacramento.

"Four years ago we were in panic mode," he said. Sales after the Great Recession of 2009 were at 11,000 a year.

But once the 2012-2017 drought ended, the pool industry rebounded, boosted by a booming economy and pent-up home equity values, Norwood said.

Today, he said, about 13,000 or more new pools are being built per year in the state. Those who own their homes outright, or have cash to refurbish backyards, are spending $50,000 to $60,000 on new, built-in pools.

"The last three years have been record-breaking," Norwood said.

What's going on?

The Southern California pool boomlet, in which a small to moderate pool can take 20,000 to 30,000 gallons of water to fill, is happening despite a year that brought just 4.78 inches of rain to downtown Los Angeles.

The year 2018 had the third driest rainy season in 141 years, with 85.2 percent of California abnormally dry or in drought as compared to 23.5 percent one year ago.

Future water restrictions loom on the horizon. New legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in early June will bring tight water budgets, affecting both indoor and outdoor water use (including swimming pools) by 2022.

Adam Hatcher, in Bobcat, and Xavier Skonseng break up an in-ground pool and patio at a house on Pawlet Circle in Fountain Valley on Friday, July 6, 2018. The owners were having the 11 x 26-foot pool filled in with dirt. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Workers break up a pool and patio at a house on Pawlet Circle in Fountain Valley on Friday, July 6, 2018. The owners were having the 11 x 26-foot pool filled in with dirt. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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The owners at this home on Trail View Place in Yorba Linda had their pool removed. More homeowners are having their pools either filled in or removed. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Adam Hatcher breaks up an in-ground pool and patio at a house on Pawlet Circle in Fountain Valley on Friday, July 6, 2018. The owners were having the 11 x 26-foot pool filled in with dirt. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Xavier Skonseng uses a jack hammer to break up a pool patio at a house on Pawlet Circle in Fountain Valley on Friday, July 6, 2018. The owners were having the pool filled in with dirt. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Martin Rivera, right, and Adam Hatcher, in Bobcat, break up an in-ground pool and patio at a house on Pawlet Circle in Fountain Valley on Friday, July 6, 2018. The owners were having the 11 x 26-foot pool filled in with dirt. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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New pools remain popular in certain markets, but are getting smaller as owners strive for balance between size, water and power use, said Ray Finney, an owner of Ray's Pool and Spa based in Orange County and Rancho Cucamonga.

Homeowners are dipping into home equity loans or paying cash for new swimming pools, he said. He's building new swimming pools every day.

"My problem this year is having too many customers," Finney said. "I will not be able to build all the pools people want me to build this year."

He's done recent installations in Corona, Temecula, Claremont, Rancho Cucamonga, Huntington Beach and Covina, he said. He's built four pools in Orange County so far this year.

Norwood credits a massive, four-year educational campaign for easing people's fears about building pools during water shortages.

"There was some hesitancy by people wanting to dig a pool in their backyard during a drought," he said.

But the 2017 rainy season that brought record snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, a key source of Southern California water, at one point reached 190 percent of average, filling state reservoirs and easing future pool customer guilt.

Plus, Norwood said, more energy-efficient heaters, lighting and filters have reduced electricity costs, making pools less expensive to maintain than they were 10 years ago.

No statewide restrictions on pool use

The state has no restrictions on swimming pools, said George Kostyrko, spokesman for the State Water Resources Control Board.

Restrictions on refilling pools in summer are sometimes enforced by local cities or water districts, but even that is fairly rare.

An attempt to pass laws outlawing hosing of sidewalks, ornamental fountains without water recycling and watering of street medians failed. The state board's rulemaking was stymied by a slew of protests saying it didn't have the power without a governor's order, which was rescinded in 2017.

Conner Everts, executive director of the Southern California Watershed Alliance in Los Angeles, said the state board was going light on watering restrictions now so as to not step on toes of the powerful pool-building lobby nor of water districts which make money on the volume of water they sell.

But the board is expected to try again to pass these laws to limit water waste in the next few months, said Max Gomberg, SWRCB's climate and conservation manager, with long-term water-use targets that must be met by cities, water districts and water retailers starting in 2022.

Money buys water, pools

Environmental groups are pushing for water recycling and smaller, water conservation projects and are in opposition to the multi-billion WaterFix tunnels project proposed for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

As evidenced by the backlash against water-wasting laws, some are saying the state government should keep out. During the height of the drought in 2015, Brett Barbre, a board member of the Municipal Water District of Orange County, objected to Gov. Jerry Brown's emergency conservation measures.

"They are going to have to pry the hose out of my cold, dead fingers," he said in a PBS special on saving water.

Barbre went on to say that the market should dictate people's water choices.

"In this country, if you have the money and you want to buy something you should be able to buy it."An aerial view of swimming pools in Los Angeles. (Handout)

Many of Finney's pool customers are well-to-do homeowners who have large retirement savings or good jobs and plenty of home equity to borrow, he said.

That backs up a study by researchers Benedikt Gross and Joseph K. Lee in 2014 which ended up as a book "The Big Atlas of LA Pools." The former MIT scientists looked at Los Angeles County, minus the San Fernando Valley, and found swimming pools were a proxy for wealth.

Beverly Hills has the most pools per capita, 2,481. Not coincidentally, it was one of four cities fined by the SWRCB for overusing water.

Next was Rancho Palos Verdes with 2,592 pools per capita. Satellite imagery showed the city with turquoise rectangles in almost every home in every tract.

However, there were no backyard pools in Watts or Florence, Gross said.

"Pools are still a California dream," Norwood said.

Bill Patzert, retired climatologist from NASA/Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge, said data from space satellites shows pools and green lawns are prevalent in wealthier communities, such as San Marino, Bel Air, Newport Beach and Rancho Santa Fe, while not so much in lower-income areas.

"Water usage is a socio-economic phenomenon," he said during an interview Friday. "Rich people don't care about higher water rates or water shortages. That's why Bel Air looks like a rain forest.

"Yet, in Boyle Heights you don't see lawns or trees because people living there can't afford higher water bills."

Getting rid of pools

Some are worried about water shortages, higher water and electric rates and a world in which climate change can increase the likelihood of water shortages.

When Bonnie (who declined to give her last name) discovered her backyard pool was leaking water, she and her husband got rid of it.

"Here we were literally wasting water," the 73-year-old said during an interview on Thursday. "I still consider pools a luxury."

The pool in the backyard of their Wilshire Avenue neighborhood home in Los Angeles was removed by Ace Demolition of Reseda. She's going to build a ceramics studio in the newly available space.

With laws relaxed for additional dwelling units, they may eventually move into the back house and rent out their main house, she said.

Likewise, Henry Dinh, 55, of Torrance, hired Ace to dig out his pool in June because their children were grown and they hadn't used it for several years.

The compacted soil now holds several fruit trees, good for shade as well as the fruit, he said.

Dinh hopes to save up to $100 a month on water, electric and gas bills.

Steve Espenshied owns Kennah Construction, Inc. of Huntington Beach, a company whose sole job is removing swimming pools.

Reasons listed by customers run the gamut, from using too much water, to saving on water and electric bills, to making better use of their yard for an outdoor kitchen or fire pit.

For the last 10 years, Espenshied has been working non-stop, doing at least two pool demos a week costing customers between $6,000 and $18,000, he said.

"I'd say about 15 percent of the people don't want the pool because they are spending too much on water," Espenschied said. "Or if it's leaking, they have to constantly fill it up."

Some cities offer incentives such as tax breaks for getting rid of your pool, he said.

Mission Viejo gives demo contractors such as himself a break by not charging a permit fee. The city justifies the exemption because it saves them water, he said.

Torrance, for example, only charges $50 for a permit. Others, like Los Angeles, however, charge $600.

Everts said there's a danger in saying a drought is over when global warming causes higher temperatures and melts the snowpack faster, causing less water to be captured.

"Some agencies had put up banners saying the drought is over, use as much water as you want. That's wrong. We should never stop conserving water now that we are in the extremes of climate change," he said.

"We need to make that a permanent lifestyle change and accept it."

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Steve Scauzillo

Steve Scauzillo covers environment and transportation for the Southern California News Group. He has won two journalist of the year awards from the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club and is a recipient of the Aldo Leopold Award for Distinguished Editorial Writing on environmental issues. Steve studied biology/chemistry when attending East Meadow High School and Nassau College in New York (he actually loved botany!) and then majored in social ecology at UCI until switching to journalism. He also earned a master's degree in media from Cal State Fullerton. He has been an adjunct professor since 2005. Steve likes to take the train, subway and bicycle -- sometimes all three -- to assignments and the newsroom. He is married to Karen E. Klein, a former journalist with Los Angeles Daily News, L.A. Times, Bloomberg and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal and now vice president of content management for a bank. They have two grown sons, Andy and Matthew. They live in Pasadena. Steve recently watched all of "Star Trek" the remastered original season one on Amazon, so he has an inner nerd.

Follow Steve Scauzillo @stevscaz

analysis of article text


prohibitionist hits:0 government drug warrior (prohibition_agency) hits:0 propaganda (drugwar_propaganda) hits:16 legalization hits:0 drug_reformer hits:0 reform_referenda hits:0 cannabis hits:3 stimulant hits:0 narcotic hits:0 hallucinogen hits:0
    prohibitionist     prohibition_agency     drugwar_propaganda     legalization     drug_reformer
    reform_referenda     cannabis     stimulant     narcotic     hallucinogen
                        
                        


incarceration/prison mentioned? NO - the issue of prison or incarceration was NOT mentioned in this article .

propaganda analysis


explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) hits:3 hated group (propaganda_theme1) hits:0 madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2) hits:6 survival of society (propaganda_theme3) hits:4 gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) hits:0 children (propaganda_theme5) hits:1 demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) hits:1 total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) hits:0 dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8) hits:1
EXP - explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) GRP - hated group (propaganda_theme1) MAD - madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2)
SOC - survival of society (propaganda_theme3) USE - gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) KID - children (propaganda_theme5)
WAR - demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) TOT - total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) DIS - dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8)



conceptevidencehitslinks
 drug of abuse implied / mentioned

drug related
[news] [concept]

illegal drugs  
drugwar_propaganda : a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or themepropaganda

drugwar propaganda 75%
[news] [concept]

explicit propaganda propaganda theme2 propaganda theme3 propaganda theme5 propaganda theme6 propaganda theme8 Why Are Americans So Easy to Manipulate? (Bruce E Levine, 2012)
Classic Modern Drug Propaganda
Themes in Chemical Prohibition
Drug War Propaganda (kindle edition)
explicit_propaganda : an explicit drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, system, or programexplicit prohibition propaganda

explicit propaganda 70%
[news] [concept]

"spokesman" "banners" "campaign"3SourceWatch: War on Drugs
dare.procon.org
Write What You're Told
Anti-Drug PSAs From the 80s and 90s
Lippmann, Walter; Public Opinion (1921)
Bernays, Edward; Propaganda (1928)
propaganda_theme2 : drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugsmadness, violence, illness

propaganda theme2 75%
[news] [concept]

"Crime" "danger" "problem" "abnormally" "disease" "fears"6Madness Crime Violence Illness (propaganda theme 2)
drugwarfacts.org/crime.htm
drugwarfacts.org/causes.htm
Distortion 18: Cannabis and Mental Illness
No, marijuana use doesn't lower your IQ (10/2014)
propaganda_theme3 : drug war propaganda theme: survival of societysurvival of society

propaganda theme3 75%
[news] [concept]

"communities" "neighborhood" "Public Safety" "this country"4Survival of Society (propaganda theme 3)
The "Nation" as a Device To Create a Psychological Crowd
propaganda_theme5 : drug war propaganda theme: children corrupted by drugschildren

propaganda theme5 60%
[news] [concept]

"children"1Children Corrupted (propaganda theme 5)
drugwarfacts.org/adolesce.htm
Think of the children
propaganda_theme6 : drug war propaganda theme: demonize; use of drugs is epidemic; wardemonize, war, epidemic

propaganda theme6 65%
[news] [concept]

"plagued"1Demonize, War (propaganda theme 6)
List of Wars on Concepts
Perpetual war
The Failed War on Drugs (2012)
 dissent silenced

dissent silenced 50%
[news] [concept]

"taboo"1ONDCP law: studying legalization disallowed
Suppression of dissent
Right to petition
Felony disenfranchisement
Police Officers Fired for Improper Thoughts - About Legal Pot (2011)
propaganda_theme8 : dissent opposed

propaganda theme8 50%
[news] [concept]

dissent silenced Dissent Attacked (propaganda theme 8)
From Martin Luther King to Anonymous, governments target dissenters not just "bad guys" (2014)
 drug of abuse

illegal drugs
[news] [concept]

cannabis  
 compassion club

compassion club
[news] [concept]

"marijuana dispensaries" "dispensaries"2 
 psychoactive plant

plants
[news] [concept]

cannabis erowid.org/plants/plants.shtml
 intoxicant
[news] [concept]
cannabis  
medical_cannabis : cannabis for medical usemedical cannabis
[news] [concept]
compassion club medicalmarijuanaprocon.org/
drugwarfacts.org/medicalm.htm
mapinc.org/mmj.htm
mapinc.org/find?253
Cannabis Treats Anxiety, Depression And Activates Pathways That Regulate Emotional Behavior (2014)
The Flower (video cartoon)
cannabis : cannabis (marijuana) product or usecannabis
[news] [concept]
"marijuana" medical cannabis1Cannabis: Religious and Spiritual Uses
Cannabis-Driving Studies
MAPInc.org Cannabis Link DB
medicalmarijuanaprocon.org
cannabisculture.com
Schaffer Library: Marijuana
drugwarfacts.org/marijuan.htm
mapinc.org/pot.htm
U.S. Prisons Thriving on Jim Crow Marijuana Arrests (2013)
 youth 60%
[news] [concept]
propaganda theme5 ssdp.org/
mapinc.org/youth.htm
 school
[news] [concept]
"School" "College"2ssdp.org/

st:0.01 fo:0 s:0.01 d:0 c:0 db:0.18 a:0.97 m:0.15 t:1.59 (f)


text of article used for CRITICAL ANALYSIS, under FAIR USE provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107, et al.


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    article tags



     

    school concept
    youth concept
    cannabis concept - cannabis (marijuana) product or use
    cannabis
    medical_cannabis concept - cannabis for medical use
    medical_cannabis
    intoxicant concept
    plants concept - Plants listed in this section are those which have been used by humans for their mind- or emotion-altering properties.
    compassion_club concept - organization that legally distributes medical cannabis to doctor-approved patients
    illegal_drugs concept - drugs of abuse, so-called
    propaganda_theme8 concept
    propaganda_theme8
    dissent_silenced concept - drug war propaganda theme: dissent silenced
    propaganda_theme6 concept - drug war propaganda theme: demonize; use of drugs is epidemic; war
    propaganda_theme6
    propaganda_theme5 concept - drug war propaganda theme: children corrupted by drugs
    propaganda_theme5
    propaganda_theme3 concept - drug war propaganda theme: survival of society
    propaganda_theme3
    propaganda_theme2 concept - drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugs
    propaganda_theme2
    explicit_propaganda concept - an explicit drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, system, or program
    explicit_propaganda
    drugwar_propaganda concept - a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or theme
    drugwar_propaganda
    drug_related concept - related to illegal drugs and prohibition