GCSAA supports water conservation and the utilization of irrigation/water use best management practices (BMPs). GCSAA supports golf facilities utilizing irrigation system audits as a means to increase the effectiveness of the irrigation system and conserve water. GCSAA supports active collaboration with state and local officials to enact appropriate drought restrictions. GCSAA supports the creation and use of written drought management plans by golf facilities that are subject to drought cycles.
Regulatory agencies and golf courses should work together to develop conservation plans and BMPs. Regulations need to be based on sound science**. Regulatory agencies need to look at golf courses as small businesses and important members of the community.
Properly maintained turfgrass provides many community benefits including: critical "greenspaces"; habitat for birds and other wildlife; recreational opportunities; temperature buffer; capture of run-off pollutants in stormwater; and carbon sequestration and oxygen production. In addition, many entities both public and private rely on healthy turfgrass as a key component in maintaining financial revenues.
Golf facilities should continue to take advantage of technology as part of the irrigation decision-making process to conserve water. The utilization of data from soil sensors for irrigation scheduling decisions is likely to increase in the future as the equipment becomes more reliable and affordable. GCSAA supports the development and promotion of environmentally responsible economic and regulatory incentives for water conservation: installation of efficient irrigation products and systems; retrofits of existing irrigation systems with water-efficient technologies; and design and maintenance practices that foster and support efficient irrigation.
There are proactive steps GCSAA and the industry can take to help ensure golf’s access to water in the future including: 1) establishing a strong relationship with the Department of Interior and Bureau of Reclamation; 2) developing national outreach on the importance of working directly with local/regional state water agencies; 3) identifying potential opportunities for grant money at the Federal level for infrastructure upgrades; 4) a targeted focus on turfgrass breeding projects; 5) working with golf allied associations on golfer outreach to educate them about future water cuts at golf facilities; and 6) investigating state level funds to support advocacy efforts (i.e., formation of tax commissions).