Are pools still a viable backyard option in an area experiencing drought? Concerns about drought and climate change, and the way water resources are being allocated, have led to creative and innovative work in pool design. Pool designers want to keep pools easy to use and maintain and a pleasure for homeowners to enjoy for many years.

One of the primary design elements for water resource conservation also has a safety function: the pool and spa cover. New automatic covers are easy to move on and off a pool, and can be set up with a number of systems to make use push-button easy. Covers also provide safety, as small children can’t wander into the pool area and fall in, and are especially important for the backyard pool in a second home.

Water loss from a pool is primarily by evaporation, especially in a warm, arid climate like the high desert climate of southern California. But evaporation doesn’t occur in all parts of the pool equally. Areas that are shallow, and edges that are water covered, are more prone to evaporative loss. A lap or reflecting pool that is uniformly deep can reduce this evaporation.

Elements that move water, like fountains and waterfalls, are also more likely to have evaporation. Both a design that keeps these issues to a minimum, and a good pool cover can reduce this water loss. For moving water, the ability to turn this feature off when it’s not in use allows homeowners to still enjoy this charming water feature.

The new automatic pool covers are very easy to use and maintain, but for the most part, they need to cover rectangular pools and spas. Automatic pool covers have not been developed for pools with curved designs. Manual covers can fit these curvy pools.

Filtration systems use different amounts of water; a pool installer with a proper understanding of both design and installation will make sure the pool uses a water conserving filtration system and that the installation is done properly, so the pool doesn’t leak–another potential source of water loss.

Sustainable low water landscaping around the pool and spa is another area where design can significantly impact long-term water use. Replacing a green grass lawn, with its water, chemical and maintenance needs, with native plantings, drought-tolerant trees, and stone and wood walkways gives the landscaping both significant long-term water and maintenance savings. It also adds a lovely regional flavor to the backyard design.

For more information on pool installation and design, please contact us.