Arizona Golf Industry News

Water is the topic on everyone’s lips lately, so the 20-member Arizona Golf Industry Association has addressed the issue in a question-and-answer forum on its web Web site [, under “Current Issues”]. The forum is designed to educate all golfers and critics of water use. Here are some excerpts:
Question: How much water do golf courses take from citizens?
Answer: None. First of all, developers are required to supply with their permit package an assurance of meeting 100-year water supply for the course and community. Secondly, many courses utilize effluent non-potable water for irrigating their courses. There are numerous examples in North Scottsdale where courses have freed up considerable potable supplies by negotiating and helping to pay for the Reclaimed Water Distribution System (RWDS) by switching over to effluent/non-potable water.
Q:  How much water do golf courses use?
A: In the Arizona Department of Water Resources’ Third Management Period Plan for the Phoenix Active Management Area (AMA) for the Years 2,000 to 2,010 it is stated that the total water demand for the latest reporting year was about 2.3 million acre feet. Of that demand, only 97,151 acre-feet per year, was on turf facilities with golf courses being the largest component of that demand. Therefore, in the Phoenix area golf courses only use about 4.2 percent of the total water demand. The Phoenix area also has achieved “Safe Yield” with projected growth (through 2025), meaning that for every drop of ground water that is pumped the equivalent is being recharged into the aquifer.
Q:  Are golf courses beneficial to those who don’t play?
A: Residents living on or near a golf course have the benefit of the cooling and cleansing effects of turf, as well as the environmental benefit of wildlife and walking/recreational facilities. Specifically:

(1) Turfgrass absorbs and filters rain and runoff water, recharging ground and surface water;
(2) Turfgrass improves the soil and restores damaged areas—landfills, mining sites;
(3) Turfgrass improves air quality and moderates temperature; and
(4) Turfgrass reduces noise, glare, and visual pollution.