What Uses More Water … a Pool or a Lawn?

A swimming pool and a lawn uses more water
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The Green Scene

Landscaping & Swimming Pools

These days most people are paying close attention to the environment and the impact they’ll leave on it. Homeowners are no exception. As they consider landscaping and pool projects, they’re viewing them through the lens of environmental impact and water usage. If you’re trying to decide between a pool and a lawn project, use these tips to help guide you based on which uses more water. 

Water Usage for a Pool

It should come as no surprise that swimming pools use a significant amount of water. However, you might be surprised to learn that pools generally use less water per year than it takes to maintain a lush, green lawn. 

It may seem like your pool needs a lot of water as you’re filling it up, but don’t forget that you don’t have to do that each year. Your pool will essentially use the same water for several years to come. In following years, your pool will only require water to be added at various intervals to help maintain the proper levels. 

If you’re struggling to believe that pools aren’t the water guzzlers they were originally thought to be, let’s put it into perspective. A pool and deck area of 1,000 square feet will use roughly 3,000 gallons less than a traditional lawn or even drought-tolerant landscaping. A gorgeous lawn can add amazing curb appeal to your home, but a beautiful pool will wind up using less water in the long run.

Coverage Matters

Factors such as location and whether a pool is covered or not also contribute to how much water is ultimately used. In more arid climates, an uncovered pool can lose thousands of gallons per month due to evaporation. But even without a cover, research indicates that a pool uses less water than a lawn of similar size. 

Covered pools, on the other hand, can save up to 50 percent of the water by preventing evaporation. A covered pool is far more efficient in terms of water usage, even using less than drought-tolerant landscaping. Using traditional covers help a pool’s efficiency and can help cut evaporation, making a pool’s water usage less than a lawn. 


An important factor to take into consideration is the sustainability of lawns in areas that are drought-prone. Think about how much water it takes to protect a lawn from extreme temperatures and drought conditions. The annual water consumption for a lawn averages out to be 30,000 gallons more than a pool with identical square footage. 


In the battle of pool versus lawn in overall water usage, pools are clearly the more efficient choice. But whichever option you choose, make sure your backyard project is exactly how you dreamed it would be. Call the team at The Green Scene Landscaping & Swimming Pools today. Their team will help you explore all of your options and select the right features for your backyard. Call today to start designing your outdoor living space!

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