This is an argument which on the face of it, sounds convincing. Google Earth’s satellite view makes it easy to spot properties that have an outdoor uncovered pool. The largest one visible in Waikanae (whose then owners Sue Smith and her husband Mr Mitchell objected to us mentioning it) we estimate has a capacity of 1 million litres and the second largest visible in Waikanae is this one on Awanui Drive, which probably contains 600,000 litres, a few times the amount of water that the average family would use in a year.
However, arguments against are: 1. there aren’t many swimming pools, from what we can see, less than 100 in Waikanae, all except one of which are smaller than the one shown; 2. there is nothing to say that these pools aren’t filled in November or December when there is still plenty of rainfall, some of which the pool itself would capture.
People who have swimming pools on their properties are sure to be wealthy, but pools are expensive to maintain regardless of the water used and in America they are generally considered a liability rather than an asset.
Pumps, filters, heaters, the power used and chemicals required aren’t cheap and those who have pools probably spend more time raking leaves out of them than swimming in them. Thousands of dollars can be required every so often replacing things like the liner and the covers or repairing cracks or leaks, particularly in an earthquake-prone country like New Zealand.
We have been asked how much the council water charge would be for a pool this size. All water used is at present charged for at a volumetric rate of $0.99c per cubic metre which is 1,000 litres. Thus a pool containing 600,000 litres would incur a council charge of $600 plus GST. During the summer period a net (of rainfall) quantity would evaporate and require replenishing, too.