By Jim McCloskey
I’m going to start the New Year by breaking a personal tradition – and I’m going to do it on a grand scale.
As I’ve written in past first-of-the-year blogs, I’m not inclined to make New Year’s resolutions for myself, mainly because when I made them in the distant past, it would generally take less than a month to completely forget what I’d been so earnest about on the first day of the year.
But for 2016, I am offering a set of resolution I would like to propose for the entire watershaping industry, top to bottom, side to side, on a global basis: Let us resolve to focus in 2016 and beyond on making our projects and products as energy efficient as possible and do all we can to minimize the consumption footprint of the pools, fountains, ponds and other waterfeatures we set in place in the year to come – and, basically, forevermore.
[ ] The universal application of variable-frequency-drive pumps is a great starting place for all new work and retrofits. No other single product can play so great a role in reducing the energy required to keep hydraulic systems of all shapes and sizes running. Resolved.
[ ] Likewise, the universal application of sound hydraulic principles in system design is a must if the full benefits of better pumps and other efficiency-increasing measures are to be realized. For years now, we’ve heard the virtues of the big pipe/small pump approach extolled in countless articles and presentations, and it’s time for everyone to step up, accept and apply this basic concept. Resolved.
[ ] No matter which water-treatment systems are used, watershapes should be set up in such a way that all of the magic happens automatically. There is no greater cause of extra expense in watershape ownership than having to adjust and readjust various balances once they start creeping out of line. Ridding the marketplace of the byproducts of casual negligence will raise levels of client satisfaction to unimagined heights. Resolved.
[ ] Those balances can only be maintained if monitoring and diagnostic systems are built into every watershape, as they now are into automobiles. Such alarm-equipped systems will leave owners with few excuses and provide invaluable information to any professional called in to deal with issues when and if they arise. Resolved.
[ ] All of those who are working on chemical-free approaches to water maintenance should continue to do so with all the diligence they can muster. From pools and spas to ponds and interactive fountains, owners are looking for systems that allow them to avoid the need to pay for, store and dose water with chemicals, and it’s time to focus on finding reliable ways to meet these demands on all possible levels. Resolved.
[ ] Those who operate on the high end of the market must continue to share what they know with those who aspire to that upper echelon and enable them to communicate about great ideas with their fellow watershapers as well as their clients. This inspiration-disseminating pattern has been in place for a good 16 years now, and it should continue because it has done so much to advance watershaping as an endeavor. Resolved.
[ ] At the same time, watershapers need to maintain a multi-level industry to meet the needs and impulses of all prospective owners. If a watershape becomes no more than a hyper-costly luxury item, the industry will get unhealthy in a hurry – at which point even the high end will start to suffer. Resolved.
While I’m at it, there’s one final thought I’d like to add: To each and every one of you, I offer my best wishes for a Happy New Year – and herewith pledge to support your work in 2016 and beyond by making WaterShapes and watershapes.com the best they can possibly be. Resolved!