Drought Remains Top Issue In The Southwest

By Pat Gross, director, Southwest Region
February 20, 2014

This is a sign of the times in California. Serious drought conditions continue to persist, highlighting the importance saving water and implementing conservation programs.

Drought emergency declared in California  

It’s officially serious. Electronic road signs throughout California are reminding residents about what they already know: The state continues to suffer drought conditions, and people are urged to do their part to conserve water. California experienced the driest year on record in 2013, and 2014 has seen very little rain so far. This prompted Governor Jerry Brown to recently declare an official drought emergency in California. The implications of such a declaration are not completely understood at this point and water agencies have not yet mandated water reductions or rationing plans, but many golf facilities are preparing for potential water reductions. Golf industry groups in Los Angeles, San Diego, Coachella Valley (Palm Springs area) and eastern San Francisco Bay have been very proactive on the issue by working with local water agencies and forming golf course water conservation task force groups. These groups are focused on meeting present and future conservation goals in a practical manner and working with community stake holders on effective water conservation methods.

Salinity control – Winter rainfall is the primary means of rinsing the soil of harmful salts that accumulate during the year. Salinity reduction is not happening this year due to limited rainfall, and many golf facilities must monitor greens and high priority turf areas on a frequent schedule and irrigate as necessary to reduce soil salinity.

Upcoming USGA Regional Conferences – Please mark your calendar for the upcoming USGA regional conference:

Monday, March 17 – Northern California Regional Conference at Diablo Country Club, Diablo, Calif.

Source: Pat Gross (pgross@usga.org)

Information on the USGA’s Course Consulting Service

Contact the Green Section Staff 

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