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How Can California Golf Courses Survive this Drought?

How Can California Golf Courses Survive this Drought?

How Can California Golf Courses Survive this Drought?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

California is now in its fourth year of a devastating drought, and Governor Jerry Brown is implementing new restrictive water use measures.

He has mandated a 25% reduction in water use statewide.  And specifically targeted the state’s 900-plus golf courses in meeting that significant reduction.

‘Unfair,’ says the California Golf Course Superintendents Association. Residential and commercial customers account for about 20 percent of all water use across the state.  Parks and golf courses use just 1 percent, and agriculture drinks up the rest.

Many courses have been aggressively conserving water for several years.  Especially since 2009, during the last serious drought. One-third of the state’s courses use non-potable, reclaimed water, and the goal is to get 100% on board when they get the green light by local water agencies to install the pipes and facilities required to divert the water . . . a lengthy and expensive process. And 75% of the courses have replaced old sprinkler heads with more efficient ones that are individually controllable and moisture-responsive.

Laura Bliss, for Citylab, provides more info in this story about how water allocation is threatening our beloved golf in California, a state in crisis.

 

How Can California Golf Courses Survive this Drought?

California’s lush green courses might be a thing of the past if Governor Jerry Brown has his way!

 To the rest of the country, there are perhaps three classic symbols of California water profligacy:

Bright green front lawns, swimming pools, and sprawling golf courses. The image of sprinkler sin is especially vivid in places like the Coachella Valley.  Home to the “desert oasis” of Palm Springs.  And the largest concentration of golf courses in the country. According to a 2013 report by the California Alliance for Golf, golf courses make up about 3.5 percent of the total turfgrass in California.  And use an estimated 324,246 acre-feet—almost 300 million gallons—for irrigation every year.

Courses in the southwest part of the state, including the Coachella Valley, make up more than two-thirds of that amount.  Due to high evaporation rates from the hot, dry air. With California now in its fourth year of devastating drought, Governor Jerry Brown issued a first-of-its-kind executive order last week.  Mandating a 25 percent reduction in water use statewide. Brown specifically called on California’s 900-plus golf courses as needing special restrictions in order to meet that significant reduction.

Yet California golf advocates say they’ve got an undeservedly bad rap.

“We’ve got a target on our back, and it isn’t fair,” says Jim Ferrin, a government relations representative with the California Golf Course Superintendents Association. “In terms of potable water, parks and golf courses use just one percent across the state.” It’s true—residential and commercial customers account for about 20 percent of all water use across the state.  While agriculture drinks up the rest. Of course, golf courses serve only a fraction of the state’s population.

Still, says Ferrin, California’s golf-course managers are experts in turf management. Water conservation has been a strategic part of the long-term business plan for many courses across the state. Ferrin estimates that one-third of the state’s courses use non-potable, reclaimed water.  And that the goal is to get 100 percent on board. It can be a lengthy, expensive process to install the pipes and facilities needed to divert the water, however, and many golf courses haven’t been given the go-ahead by their local water agencies.

To read the rest of this compelling story by Laura Bliss read on here

Pictures: Prayitno    Joe Wolf
 
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