Unless you are already in the industry, it’s easy to underestimate the importance of water to a golf course. But realistically, you can only get out on the green when the grass is actually green. On average, a golf course requires between 100,000 and 1,000,000 gallons of water each week to maintain the facilities and the green. That requires a proper irrigation system, and that requires proper and efficient access to water.
Is there a better way to manage the water source for your golf course?
There is a big push to improve the sustainable use of water in golf courses right now. According to the GEO foundation, embracing the drive to support the sustainable use of resources, including water, adds value to the golf course as well as to the environment. As water prices increase, finding ways to efficiently and sustainably access and use water can improve the longevity of both a golf course and its profit margins.
How can a golf course achieve the best water management possible?
1) End the turf wars
One suggested means involves investing in the right turf. Research is currently underway to determine the best kind of turf to use to lower the consumption and quality of water required to maintain the lush, green turf a golf course requires. Investing in the proper turf in combination with an efficient irrigation system can decrease water consumption, making the course more sustainable overall. One such possible turf is Seashore Paspalim, a strain of grass that is highly resilient to salt buildup and corrosion.
2) Naturalize your terrain
Another way to improve water management on the golf course is by properly taking advantage of natural environmental features, like ponds and marshes, instead of creating manmade golf course features. You can save a lot on water consumption by using the natural marsh as an obstacle instead of digging and filling a lake or pond. Some golf courses struggle to maintain the lush, green turf in the midst of desert conditions—so why not take advantage of the natural terrain where you can by using naturalized areas for sand traps? Further, incorporating natural marshes into your course can provide natural water drainage, storage, and even filtration, which can ultimately support your overall water table. Another way to maintain the efficiency of your water management is to conduct a hydrogeological study to determine the most efficient means and the right equipment to properly and evenly irrigate the most challenging features without having to overwater.
3) Irrigation is everything
By taking advantage of proper irrigation, golf courses can channel overflow and drainage into reservoirs. You can also capture storm water in reservoirs. Repurposing this water will lessen the overall amount that needs to be drawn from a well while helping to protect your course and the environment from the hazards of flash flooding. You can also use reclaimed water from wastewater treatment plants for areas that don’t require potable water—like your irrigation system.
4) It’s all well and good—as long as your well is good!
Of course, water conservation efforts aside, the best way to improve water management on a golf course is to drill a proper well in the first place. In order to drill a proper well, you first need to understand the required capacity of the golf course. Once this is determined, you can select the appropriate pipe and pump size, but there’s still one more important step: you need to locate the best supply of water for your well. An inefficient well that doesn’t supply enough water will only add to the water supply burden, but it can also interfere with the natural drainage and irrigation of your course.
Contact American Water Surveyors to make water source management the top priority of your golf course.