Matt Stevens of the Los Angeles Times looks at the Coachella Valley's use of water during California's drought and issues with cutting back in a region that accounts for 13% of the state's courses, with many lined by property owners wanting to look at green turf.
Stevens says a single golf course in CVWD boundaries uses an average of about 300 million gallons of water annually, three times what coastal courses in SoCal use and "more than double what inland courses consume."
Water managers started serving more than two dozen courses with canal water, which does not impact the aquifer, and they have plans to provide canal water to seven more. Some newer courses, such as PGA West's Greg Norman course, were designed for the desert, with narrow strips of fairway and tee boxes surrounded by decomposed granite. CVWD officials say they plan to use part of a state grant to launch a long-awaited turf rebate program for golf courses.
Conserving water now will only help golf in the long run, said Miller, the president of the superintendents' association. But he has discovered that altering expectations in this idyllic desert paradise isn't easy.
"Even though we have the water to do what we're currently doing," Miller said, "we also realize that that's not always going to be the case."