Golf courses reduce water use

Jul 16, 2014 6:23 PM by Jason Atcho

Many people are trying to do their part during this extreme drought, but what do you do when your business depends on the use of water? You become smarter at how you use it.

Even though the Bidwell Park Golf Course in Chico isn't under mandatory water restriction and it uses well water, they're still doing their part to reduce water usage. "That was our goal starting out the year to be a part of the issue of water reduction and we've reduced by about 20 percent," said Courtney Foster, the general manager of the Bidwell Park Golf Course.

As part of their reduction in water use, golf courses are being smart about when the best times are to water the course. "We're doing time of day waterings. Doing it more early or late. We do some hand watering in the middle of the day of some greens just to hit hot spots," said Foster. He says they continuously monitor the course to see what adjustments can be made to cut back. "Where do we really have to put water and where can we do without a little bit of water on a daily basis."

Without much moisture this winter, it was tough to keep the course in shape without turning on the sprinkles. "We watered earlier this year. Much earlier than we've ever watered. You hate to turn the pumps on in February because the golf course it getting dry," Foster explained. Officials say it's better to start conserving now and not wait until we're in the danger zone. "We don't want to get to where the restrictions are major so if everybody starts now, then down the road we might be a little better."

Those at the golf course say it's a balancing act. The dry weather does increases business but they say we really need the rain to help keep the course green, as well as replenish our water supply.


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