President Biden has signed into law the “Inflation Reduction Act”. The Act includes measures promoting clean energy, the reduction of carbon emissions and addresses the costs of prescription drugs. Also included is language that could help drought mitigation projects undertaken by golf. Title V, Section 50233 of the Act appropriates $4 billion for “Drought Mitigation Projects In The Reclamation States”, through Sept. 30, 2026. This money would go to grants, contracts or financial assistance agreements for projects that “mitigate the impacts of drought in the Reclamation states”. While the types of projects are not specified, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), one of the sponsors of the program, points to such potential projects as “turf and lawn replacement and installation of drought-resilient landscaping”.
As this program is implemented by the federal Bureau of Reclamation, it is important to note that there are three specifics that could limit golf’s use:
- Projects must be located within the 17 Western states governed by the Bureau of Reclamation: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.
- Priority will be given to projects in the Colorado River Basin and “other basins experiencing comparable levels of long-term drought”.
- Eligible entities are limited to “public entities and Indian Tribes”. So, these are not direct grants to entities such as golf facilities. A state, county or local government or Indian tribe has to get the money first and then decide which projects get the funds.
GCSAA will monitor how the Act is implemented and whether there is an opportunity to impact golf.