lulu, hillsider companion

lulu, hillsider companion

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Governor Jerry's 25% water use reduction directive and the golf industry...holy smoke, Batman, it's a reality check for us all!!!

Well, I knew it was coming, and that there would be a loud chorus of squeals of alarm accompanying the day, which I can already hear, and so it has: we in the golf industry are at last going to be held accountable by someone for the quality of our stewardship of a great deal of the world's water. Many, many , many tens of millions of gallons of the world's water each and every year, in fact, right here in my own home state of California, and we're only a small piece of the puzzle.

Or at least I'm being led to believe that's the case. More homework needs to be done before I can fully understand what's happening, but it seems that Governor Brown's directive to the citizens of the state to reduce water usage by a full 25% in the face of the devastating drought afflicting us will apply equally to the state's golf courses. On the face of it, fair enough.

And, speaking of fairness, it has to be recognized and acknowledged that many of our country's courses, public and private, have been working diligently for a number of years now, since long before it became fashionable in the politically correct camp to wave their water banners high in the cleaner air we're all enjoying, to reduce water usage through better management of irrigation practices and by replacing their "thirsty" turfgrass cultivars with new plantings of more drought-tolerant types, thus permitting additional reductions in water applications. Those course owners, boards of directors, and the superintendents responsible for implementing and managing those changes, all deserve our respect and thanks. However, not everyone in the industry has seen fit to participate in this initiative, which can, in truth, present financial and political challenges, particularly in the private club sector, that require some courage and leadership to attack, And, as in all other walks of life, not all club executives, board members, or superintendents possess the required qualities.

It is going to be extremely interesting to follow this tiny piece of the water crisis through the twists and turns of the arguments and lawsuits to come. There are many thorny questions that will have to be addressed: the one that comes first to mind, and that will certainly be one of the hottest of the hot buttons, will be that of golf clubs and like facilities that own or lease senior water rights, some going back more than a hundred years. what effect will this have on them? Will they have to face reality, like all the rest of us, or will they get some kind of pass? Think of the stink that issue will generate if the answer turns out to be the wrong one...

Clearly, there's lots to learn yet, and we'll revisit this more than once since, as many of you know, water management has been one of my primary professional concerns for more than 20 years now.

By the way, we'll be violating the "workingman's wine" ceiling once again within the next few days as we jump into a couple of bottles from my latest shipment from one of my favorite wineries in the entire world, Martinelli. Stand by for that...

I'm out...


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