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A look at how city bans can impact an industry in California

For months now, the drought has caused water sources to become depleted across California, forcing many cities to begin enforcing strict water bans. While residents often feel the effect of these bans every time they look at their brown lawns, people often ignore the fact that there are some industries that rely heavily on water sources to maintain business. And it's these businesses that could be hurt most by water bans.

Consider for a moment the pool construction industry. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to explain that companies within this industry rely heavily on water to maintain business and profits. In the Santa Margarita Water District, a water ban that was later reversed would have effectively halted further construction of pools in the area because of concerns regarding the amount of water it takes to fill a pool. Business owners had been concerned that if the measure had passed, their livelihoods would have been at risk.

If you're a regular follower of this blog, then you may have read our post regarding possible moratoriums on new construction in the state. As we explained, moratoriums and water bans can be costly for some industries, especially those in construction. While enforcing tough restrictions may help conserve water, cities across the state could end up actually hurting a large number of businesses along the way.

Going back to our example of the pool construction industry, further water bans could cost the state some 50,000 jobs and approximately $5 billion a year. This may be particularly disconcerting to our readers, especially once you consider the fact that a pool requires less water over its lifetime than a standard lawn.

As we made clear last month, some laws -- while they may be made with good intentions -- can actually be harmful in the end. This can pave the way to contentious disputes between policymakers and those impacted by the laws, especially if they feel their rights are being violated in the process.

Source: Capital Public Radio, "California Pool Construction Soars During Drought," Ben Adler, May 13, 2015

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