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GolfClubAtlas.com => Golf Course Architecture => Topic started by: Wayne_Kozun on August 17, 2021, 10:24:48 PM

Title: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Wayne_Kozun on August 17, 2021, 10:24:48 PM
This has been in the news the last few days and it appears that Arizona is going to have an 18% reduction in the amount of water that they get from Lake Mead.
Does anyone know if this will be affecting golf courses in the near future?
(https://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/08162021_Lake-Mead_185942-1020x680.jpg)https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/08/colorado-river-drops-to-record-low-levels-slashing-arizonas-water-supply/https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/first-ever-water-shortage-declared-on-the-colorado-river-triggering-water-cuts-for-some-states-in-the-west/
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Anthony_Nysse on August 18, 2021, 07:11:10 AM
This has been in the news the last few days and it appears that Arizona is going to have an 18% reduction in the amount of water that they get from Lake Mead.
Does anyone know if this will be affecting golf courses in the near future?
(https://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/08162021_Lake-Mead_185942-1020x680.jpg)https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/08/colorado-river-drops-to-record-low-levels-slashing-arizonas-water-supply/https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/first-ever-water-shortage-declared-on-the-colorado-river-triggering-water-cuts-for-some-states-in-the-west/ (https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/08/colorado-river-drops-to-record-low-levels-slashing-arizonas-water-supply/https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/first-ever-water-shortage-declared-on-the-colorado-river-triggering-water-cuts-for-some-states-in-the-west/)


Between this & the astronomical price of grass seed this year, I think there will be many more dormant courses or dormant areas in the AZ & Palm Desert areas. Most courses seed 400-800#/acre. This years prices are over $2 per # and rising fast.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: John Emerson on August 18, 2021, 09:36:50 AM
I hope this is the beginning of the end of overseeding warm season grass on golf courses. 
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Kalen Braley on August 18, 2021, 11:30:42 AM
Been following this in the news.  Only supposed to affect Arizona farmers starting in January....for now.

That being said, I would hope golf courses would be responsible stewards and put the kybosh on over-seeding this winter...
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Steve_ Shaffer on August 18, 2021, 11:56:17 AM
Snowbirds may find some  courses with brown fairways when they arrive in the Valley of the Sun. Our 3 courses do not over seed "wall to wall" so our rough is usually brown. Recent heavy rains during our  " monsoon season" have helped but ....




https://news.yahoo.com/starving-cows-fallow-farms-arizona-090031813.html
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Greg Hohman on August 18, 2021, 03:36:40 PM
The following is one anecdote without the course management's side of the story: A friend who does not play golf (and is not politically active or judgmental) spent last week at the Marriott in Palm Desert CA. She was surprised that the grass was "lush" and that the sprinklers were on "for a long time" during very hot days.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: John Emerson on August 18, 2021, 04:44:13 PM
Again, not to beat a dead horse, but civilizations in a desert have failed every single goddamn time.  Why are we surprised that the american desert will be any different? 
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Brock Lynch on August 18, 2021, 05:04:14 PM
The following is one anecdote without the course management's side of the story: A friend who does not play golf (and is not politically active or judgmental) spent last week at the Marriott in Palm Desert CA. She was surprised that the grass was "lush" and that the sprinklers were on "for a long time" during very hot days.


I thought that the Coachella Valley is sitting on a huge water table. I don't know for sure, but I don't think the low desert of SoCal is affected by what happens with the Colorado.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: astavrides on August 18, 2021, 06:03:32 PM
The following is one anecdote without the course management's side of the story: A friend who does not play golf (and is not politically active or judgmental) spent last week at the Marriott in Palm Desert CA. She was surprised that the grass was "lush" and that the sprinklers were on "for a long time" during very hot days.


I thought that the Coachella Valley is sitting on a huge water table. I don't know for sure, but I don't think the low desert of SoCal is affected by what happens with the Colorado.


They do get some water from the Colorado. Not sure what percentage.
http://www.cvwd.org/154/Where-does-my-water-come-from

Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Pete_Pittock on August 18, 2021, 06:45:21 PM
The following is one anecdote without the course management's side of the story: A friend who does not play golf (and is not politically active or judgmental) spent last week at the Marriott in Palm Desert CA. She was surprised that the grass was "lush" and that the sprinklers were on "for a long time" during very hot days.


I thought that the Coachella Valley is sitting on a huge water table. I don't know for sure, but I don't think the low desert of SoCal is affected by what happens with the Colorado.


They do get some water from the Colorado. Not sure what percentage.
http://www.cvwd.org/154/Where-does-my-water-come-from (http://www.cvwd.org/154/Where-does-my-water-come-from)
http://www.cvwd.org/162/Groundwater-Replenishment-Imported-Water

If I read this correctly Coachella Valley is importing Colorado River water to replenish the Coachella aquifer. Facilities, including golf courses that deplete the aquifer are charged a RAC for replenishment.,
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Brock Lynch on August 19, 2021, 06:51:43 AM
Gents, thanks for the info.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Peter Ferlicca on August 19, 2021, 08:01:01 AM
I am a golf course superintendent in the Phoenix valley and have been working out here for 7 years now.  A couple of things to note.


Seed prices are insanely high this year, double to be exact.  Last year was around $1.10 and this year it is around $2.10.  It will be that cost for next year also as they won't have an excessive amount to replenish with old crop from this year.  Scotts getting into the commercial seed game really jacked up the costs.  Clubs that usually spend around 50-60K on seed are having to double their forecasts.  Many clubs are seeding way less this year acreage wise.  I overseeded 58 acres last season, this year it is going to be 42. The real pain is Poa Trivialis seed costs.  For people that overseed their greens that seed is going to be $5.12 a lb.  Next year supposedely into the $6 range.  Thankfully we only overseed 3-4 acres worth of that, but to spend close to 10K just on seeding greens is insane.  If you have ultradwarf greens it seems stupid to still be overseeding your greens, BUT a ton of clubs still do it. 


It shocks me how many clubs are just still going about their normal business.  So many clubs had their best financial renevue years ever last winter, so it is hard for them to make drastic changes going forward.  With seed costs going through the roof, water regulations really starting to go into effect for most clubs in 2025, you would think clubs start coming up with a plan over the next couple of years.  Every club out here is afraid to be the one that tries not overseeding fairways, I am up for it, but GMs and management companies are worried of the complaints.  Cart traffic is a big concern as the tee sheet is packed from December to March when the bermuda is not actively growing.  Money that is usually spent on seed, fertilizer, water, etc needs to be reallocated into a great topdressing program to build up firm and healthly bermuda fairways that can handle cart traffic in the winter time. 


Many guys are going to seed at 300-400 lbs/A rates this year and follow up with paints throughout the winter time.  Paints have really upped their game lately and to be honest by January you can't even tell.  This process also helps with transitioning back in the summer time to bermuda, as more and more clients stay during the summer and expect great conditions throughout the summer. 


2025 is when the 5th water management plan goes into effect and this is when clubs really have to ratchet down.  Most new clubs that have been built in the last 30 years have the proper turf acreage for the acre feet used.  The older clubs that have excess of 100 acres of turf that were grandfathered in with water rights are the ones that are really going to feel it.  Overseeding rough needs to stop immediately IMO, having grass all the way up to backyards needs to be replaced with landscape and DG.  Grass in between tee boxes and fairways needs to be removed.  We need to start adopting the australian method of importance.  Greens, tees, fairways, and who cares what the rough looks like.  You would be shocked though how many people freak out when they see a little brown area in the rough when it is 118 degrees out with zero humidity in June. 


What we do out here in the desert is crazy, we go through this crazy overseeding process just for 2.5 months to appeal to the client during December 1st-February 15th.  The amount of water, fertilizer, cultural practices, etc. that needs to go into overseeding and then transition just for 2.5 months when the bermuda go off color.  The best time to play golf in the desert is Apr-May and Sept-Oct.  Those are both the times we are at our worst usually cause we are switching grass, doesn't make sense. 
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Tom_Doak on August 19, 2021, 09:09:15 AM
Peter:


Thanks for that thorough report.  However, I think you should really have put the revenue numbers alongside it, so that everyone [including you] could understand why GMs are afraid to be the ones not to overseed.  What % of your annual revenue is from December through February??


I am not a fan of overseeding at all, but as you explain well, it goes hand in hand with golf cart usage, as well as meeting golfers' expectations for "green".  This is why the notion that the free market will ratchet back the overuse of resources is largely a joke.  Water use will only decrease if and when the prices become punitive, and that won't happen until the situation is beyond rescue, without government intervention.


P.S.  The seed price is not 100% independent of this.  Suppliers are charging more because (a) shipping costs are going up, but also (b) because they are charging more profit due to uncertainty and (c) I am sure they think that golf courses can afford to pay it after a boom year.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: SBusch on August 19, 2021, 11:20:01 AM
I do think that winter vacationers would be very disappointed to not see green fairways, but glad to hear courses are looking into paint. 


Peter, You said the new paints are much better, which ones in particular?  We've been using Endurant but it does wear after a few months, and goes a little toward blue.  Do you use the same for fairways?  We've been just greens in Atlanta, but considering going full fairways.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Anthony_Nysse on August 19, 2021, 11:45:46 AM

P.S.  The seed price is not 100% independent of this.  Suppliers are charging more because (a) shipping costs are going up, but also (b) because they are charging more profit due to uncertainty and (c) I am sure they think that golf courses can afford to pay it after a boom year.


Interesting, as the reason I have heard from multiple Supts & vendors is completely different.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Dan_Callahan on August 19, 2021, 12:29:44 PM
We probably shouldn't be building golf courses in deserts ...
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: John Emerson on August 19, 2021, 12:42:51 PM
We probably shouldn't be building golf courses in deserts ...
Or much else really

++++1000000000000000000000
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Peter Ferlicca on August 19, 2021, 12:58:50 PM
Tom,


I am completely aware on the revenue that is made during the winter, and why GMs and management companies insist on overseeding.  I just feel like eventually, as you mentioned either water costs are going to be so high it doesn't make financial sense to overseed, or clubs are going to realize all the savings they have on their budget by not overseeding compared to the slight hit they might take in round costs by being a course not overseeded.

During the months of Dec-Feb we make 36% of our overall revenue in green fees.  If you want to extend out for the full overseed season of Oct-March it is 64% of the revenue. 

I did a big detailed report on the difference in costs of overseeding versus not a couple of years ago.  To not overseed a golf course with normal acreage results in a savings of $340k.
That savings comes from (less fertilizer, less chemicals, no seed costs, less fuel, less repair and maintenance on machines, costs of water savings from grow in of the rye, and grow in of the bermuda in the spring, and the big one is 18 days of more revenue by not having to close for overseed)

As for the paints, yes Endurant is the popular one out here also.  Many new vendors are trying their hand in it right now though with better price points.  Scottsdale National does Endurant throughout the winter depending on need.  If you want it too look dark you probably need an application every 28 days.  If you don't mind the slightly off color look you could stretch it to 40 days depending on weather.  The expectation is that you would need about 3-4 full apps of paint to get through the winter months. 


Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Dave Givnish on August 20, 2021, 03:44:05 PM
Peter -


Have you looked at the grass that Desert Mountain used for Renegade and Seven? What do you think of it if you have? My impression is that it has held up well through 2 summers and last summer was high stress. I was told it's a bent variety. Desert Forest used to have bent fairways a long time ago - maybe it's a modification of that?









Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Jeff Schley on August 20, 2021, 03:59:03 PM
I thought Desert Forest didn't overseed, have they changed?
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Jeff Schley on August 20, 2021, 04:02:00 PM
Wow I just went onto their website so they must indeed now overseed and went to the dark side.
      Meticulous greens and fairways.           
Desert Forest greens are bentgrass. Tees, fairways, roughs, and green surrounds are hybrid bermuda grass. Starting in late September each year, the entire course (except for the bentgrass greens) is overseeded with rye grass.
        
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: PPallotta on August 20, 2021, 04:27:19 PM
We probably shouldn't be building golf courses in deserts ...
A long held belief of mine, but not of the leading golf architects' association.

And as I read this, I can't quite make myself believe what is so obviously true: ie that the wastefulness & excess all comes down to golfers simply not wanting to play on dormant turf, ever.

My goodness.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Wayne_Kozun on August 20, 2021, 05:18:24 PM
Orlando is asking residents to curtail water use, but for a different reason - to conserve liquid oxygen supplies for Covid patients in area hospitals.

https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Florida-mayor-urges-water-limits-because-of-16401303.php
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Jeff Schley on August 21, 2021, 01:18:34 AM
We probably shouldn't be building golf courses in deserts ...
A long held belief of mine, but not of the leading golf architects' association.

And as I read this, I can't quite make myself believe what is so obviously true: ie that the wastefulness & excess all comes down to golfers simply not wanting to play on dormant turf, ever.

My goodness.
Peter well said.  Also if you look at the prolonged drought conditions for California and the surrounding area, there isn't a big difference between what has traditionally been "desert" and the rest of the state. Climates change and whether we recognize it or not that region which could be classified as a "desert" in the coming decades. I think 10 inches or less if a common definition, but also you have to factor in evaporation (warmer temps), which magnifies the issue.

As opposed to debating the cause of the problem (global warming), which California can't fix themselves, they have to deal with the affects which is low amounts of rainfall and higher temps. Desalination has been and will continue to be a big part of that solution. Although energy intensive and brine producing, what other option do you have under your control? The costs have gone down in the last 2 decades and if you treat brackish water as opposed to straight saltwater you have less energy needed and less brine produced.

Now this is not a golf course problem, this is a sustainable issue for human habitation. A much higher priority than green grass would be sustaining the farming industry (i.e. almonds and grapes). Irrigating rough should have been eliminated years ago IMO and the desert courses particularly would be wise to eliminate that grass totally and bring back the desert landscape if they already don't have it as a part of their features. AZ same issue, but they don't have the water desalination access and much more dependent on the Colorado River water. Also Las Vegas gets almost all of it from Lake Mead, but they are much closer to the source. 

So yes we care about golf courses here, but this problem has effects several levels up in priority.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Thomas Dai on August 21, 2021, 03:25:50 PM
Worth a watch - https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/course-care/green-section-record/59/15/how-golf-courses-can-manage-drought.html (https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/course-care/green-section-record/59/15/how-golf-courses-can-manage-drought.html)
Atb
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: John Emerson on August 22, 2021, 05:37:36 PM
My problem with all of this is that golf is at the bottom of the list of who to blame.  Water that people drink, and golf uses for irrigation of greens and tees is a drop in the bucket to what farmers use.  We had or have no business making a desert the backbone of majority of society’s food commodities.  What’s done is done.  All we can do is just use it until we lose it. We will lose it..sooner than later.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Tom_Doak on August 23, 2021, 12:18:59 PM
Tom,


I am completely aware on the revenue that is made during the winter, and why GMs and management companies insist on overseeding.  I just feel like eventually, as you mentioned either water costs are going to be so high it doesn't make financial sense to overseed, or clubs are going to realize all the savings they have on their budget by not overseeding compared to the slight hit they might take in round costs by being a course not overseeded.

During the months of Dec-Feb we make 36% of our overall revenue in green fees.  If you want to extend out for the full overseed season of Oct-March it is 64% of the revenue. 

I did a big detailed report on the difference in costs of overseeding versus not a couple of years ago.  To not overseed a golf course with normal acreage results in a savings of $340k.
That savings comes from (less fertilizer, less chemicals, no seed costs, less fuel, less repair and maintenance on machines, costs of water savings from grow in of the rye, and grow in of the bermuda in the spring, and the big one is 18 days of more revenue by not having to close for overseed)

As for the paints, yes Endurant is the popular one out here also.  Many new vendors are trying their hand in it right now though with better price points.  Scottsdale National does Endurant throughout the winter depending on need.  If you want it too look dark you probably need an application every 28 days.  If you don't mind the slightly off color look you could stretch it to 40 days depending on weather.  The expectation is that you would need about 3-4 full apps of paint to get through the winter months.


Peter:


Thanks for these numbers, they are by far the best I've seen on this topic.  I'm actually surprised that the revenue numbers are not more skewed to the winter season.


But, at the end of the day, I do not believe that rational economic arguments will be enough to turn the tide of overseeding, just like they don't work for conservation or fossil fuel consumption or just about anything else.  I think it would require government intervention, and as recently demonstrated, our government cannot act in unison even in the face of total annihilation.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Tom_Doak on August 23, 2021, 12:51:01 PM
We probably shouldn't be building golf courses in deserts ...
A long held belief of mine, but not of the leading golf architects' association.

And as I read this, I can't quite make myself believe what is so obviously true: ie that the wastefulness & excess all comes down to golfers simply not wanting to play on dormant turf, ever.

My goodness.
Peter well said.  Also if you look at the prolonged drought conditions for California and the surrounding area, there isn't a big difference between what has traditionally been "desert" and the rest of the state. Climates change and whether we recognize it or not that region which could be classified as a "desert" in the coming decades. I think 10 inches or less if a common definition, but also you have to factor in evaporation (warmer temps), which magnifies the issue.

As opposed to debating the cause of the problem (global warming), which California can't fix themselves, they have to deal with the affects which is low amounts of rainfall and higher temps. Desalination has been and will continue to be a big part of that solution. Although energy intensive and brine producing, what other option do you have under your control? The costs have gone down in the last 2 decades and if you treat brackish water as opposed to straight saltwater you have less energy needed and less brine produced.

Now this is not a golf course problem, this is a sustainable issue for human habitation. A much higher priority than green grass would be sustaining the farming industry (i.e. almonds and grapes). Irrigating rough should have been eliminated years ago IMO and the desert courses particularly would be wise to eliminate that grass totally and bring back the desert landscape if they already don't have it as a part of their features. AZ same issue, but they don't have the water desalination access and much more dependent on the Colorado River water. Also Las Vegas gets almost all of it from Lake Mead, but they are much closer to the source. 

So yes we care about golf courses here, but this problem has effects several levels up in priority.


Desalination is not part of the solution, it is part of the problem, unless you are making it all work via tidal power or something.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Rob Marshall on August 23, 2021, 01:01:04 PM
"Desalination is not part of the solution, it is part of the problem, unless you are making it all work via tidal power or something"


Tom,
Could you please explain this? Are you saying that the energy used by desalination plants outweighs the benefit of the fresh water?
From a golf course perspective in southern coastal area's where salt and brackish water is available isn't Paspalum a potential solution. I've heard you can water it with salt water.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: John Emerson on August 23, 2021, 02:03:10 PM
"Desalination is not part of the solution, it is part of the problem, unless you are making it all work via tidal power or something"


Tom,
Could you please explain this? Are you saying that the energy used by desalination plants outweighs the benefit of the fresh water?
From a golf course perspective in southern coastal area's where salt and brackish water is available isn't Paspalum a potential solution. I've heard you can water it with salt water.


You can water anything with salt water.  The problem is two fold.  1, some plants have higher tolerance to salt in the soil than others ie:paspalum.  2, Watering with salt water builds up in the soil and will eventually make it inhospitable for plants at certain concentrations.  The only way to rid the soil of salt is with excessive amounts of fresh water, or rain.  So, your statement saying you can water paspalum with salt water is somewhat true, but what happens if it builds up and you’re not able to flush the salt out?  Let’s put it this way…you’re going to lose grass quickly.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Wayne_Kozun on August 23, 2021, 02:14:32 PM
"Desalination is not part of the solution, it is part of the problem, unless you are making it all work via tidal power or something"


Tom,
Could you please explain this? Are you saying that the energy used by desalination plants outweighs the benefit of the fresh water?
From a golf course perspective in southern coastal area's where salt and brackish water is available isn't Paspalum a potential solution. I've heard you can water it with salt water.
Yes, exactly.  If you use solar or wind to generate the power needed what is wrong with it?  Assuming that you can desalinate the water and store it for a period of time, wouldn't this also allow you to deal with the intermittency issue with solar and wind?
There is a desal plant in Sydney, Aus.  The power to drive this plant is supposed to come from nearby wind generation - but presumably this will displace other users of wind power on the MSW grid.  The plant has actually not operated for most of its life as it hasn't been needed.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Wayne_Kozun on August 23, 2021, 02:20:00 PM

You can water anything with salt water.  The problem is two fold.  1, some plants have higher tolerance to salt in the soil than others ie:paspalum.  2, Watering with salt water builds up in the soil and will eventually make it inhospitable for plants at certain concentrations.  The only way to rid the soil of salt is with excessive amounts of fresh water, or rain.  So, your statement saying you can water paspalum with salt water is somewhat true, but what happens if it builds up and you’re not able to flush the salt out?  Let’s put it this way…you’re going to lose grass quickly.
Are there not courses operating that use salt water for irrigation of paspalum?  I thought that this was the case with courses in the caribbean.
Here is a USGA document on this issue that discusses Old Collier Golf Club in Naples, FL  https://www.usga.org/content/dam/usga/images/course-care/water-resource-center/watersummitarticles/214424%20Hiers%2C%20Tim%20-%20Irrigation%20with%20a%20Toxin.pdf
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Joe Hancock on August 23, 2021, 08:37:06 PM

You can water anything with salt water.  The problem is two fold.  1, some plants have higher tolerance to salt in the soil than others ie:paspalum.  2, Watering with salt water builds up in the soil and will eventually make it inhospitable for plants at certain concentrations.  The only way to rid the soil of salt is with excessive amounts of fresh water, or rain.  So, your statement saying you can water paspalum with salt water is somewhat true, but what happens if it builds up and you’re not able to flush the salt out?  Let’s put it this way…you’re going to lose grass quickly.
Are there not courses operating that use salt water for irrigation of paspalum?  I thought that this was the case with courses in the caribbean.
Here is a USGA document on this issue that discusses Old Collier Golf Club in Naples, FL  https://www.usga.org/content/dam/usga/images/course-care/water-resource-center/watersummitarticles/214424%20Hiers%2C%20Tim%20-%20Irrigation%20with%20a%20Toxin.pdf (https://www.usga.org/content/dam/usga/images/course-care/water-resource-center/watersummitarticles/214424%20Hiers%2C%20Tim%20-%20Irrigation%20with%20a%20Toxin.pdf)


Florida( and the Caribbean) gets frequent heavy rains, doing the work of flushing salts through soils, usually sandy. That isn’t the case in most desert scenarios.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: John Emerson on August 23, 2021, 09:55:14 PM

You can water anything with salt water.  The problem is two fold.  1, some plants have higher tolerance to salt in the soil than others ie:paspalum.  2, Watering with salt water builds up in the soil and will eventually make it inhospitable for plants at certain concentrations.  The only way to rid the soil of salt is with excessive amounts of fresh water, or rain.  So, your statement saying you can water paspalum with salt water is somewhat true, but what happens if it builds up and you’re not able to flush the salt out?  Let’s put it this way…you’re going to lose grass quickly.
Are there not courses operating that use salt water for irrigation of paspalum?  I thought that this was the case with courses in the caribbean.
Here is a USGA document on this issue that discusses Old Collier Golf Club in Naples, FL  https://www.usga.org/content/dam/usga/images/course-care/water-resource-center/watersummitarticles/214424%20Hiers%2C%20Tim%20-%20Irrigation%20with%20a%20Toxin.pdf (https://www.usga.org/content/dam/usga/images/course-care/water-resource-center/watersummitarticles/214424%20Hiers%2C%20Tim%20-%20Irrigation%20with%20a%20Toxin.pdf)


Of course there are clubs using brackish water for irrigation.  It makes managing fine turf all the more difficult…like supers needed more to worry about.  Just because one can doesn’t mean one should.  The bottom line is that growing ANYTHING in a desert is horrible horrible idea.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Tom_Doak on August 24, 2021, 09:23:33 AM
"Desalination is not part of the solution, it is part of the problem, unless you are making it all work via tidal power or something"


Tom,
Could you please explain this? Are you saying that the energy used by desalination plants outweighs the benefit of the fresh water?
From a golf course perspective in southern coastal area's where salt and brackish water is available isn't Paspalum a potential solution. I've heard you can water it with salt water.




You still have to remove a lot of the salt from sea water before you can use it for irrigation on Paspalum.  At the one project where that was the approach, the defunct Bay of Dreams, it cost about $100,000 per month to keep the water turned on.  That's why the course did not survive for long when the recession came and they couldn't sell real estate.


My comment was more general.  On the level of one project, yes, desal is an option, though the cost number above should give you some pause as to whether it's a sustainable option.  For a backup water system for a big city, I'm sure it would be great to have.  But as a water "solution" for a big city or for civilization, the idea of "powering our way out of it" with the status quo just reminds me of the final scene of Thelma and Louise.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Steve Lang on August 24, 2021, 10:04:44 AM
 8)  The largest desalination plant in the western hemisphere in Carlsbad, CA makes about 50 million gallons per day of drinking water for $0.005 per gal from the pacific ocean feed.  Its been running for about 5 years now.



I worked on very large chemical plant project in the middle east that made desalinated water for $0.006 per gallon.  The irrigation spec for the green belt areas was 1500 parts per million total dissolved solids, feed water spec was about 45,000 part per million.


These are industrial world scale projects that can be easily repeated if there's the desire and an ocean shoreline nearby...
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Kalen Braley on August 24, 2021, 10:38:57 AM
8)  The largest desalination plant in the western hemisphere in Carlsbad, CA makes about 50 million gallons per day of drinking water for $0.005 per gal from the pacific ocean feed.  Its been running for about 5 years now.

I worked on very large chemical plant project in the middle east that made desalinated water for $0.006 per gallon.  The irrigation spec for the green belt areas was 1500 parts per million total dissolved solids, feed water spec was about 45,000 part per million.

These are industrial world scale projects that can be easily repeated if there's the desire and an ocean shoreline nearby...


Steve,

Are those operating costs per gallon once the facility is up and running?  Or does that calculate in infrastructure, build costs, ongoing maintenance, etc?



Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Tom_Doak on August 24, 2021, 10:55:11 AM
8)  The largest desalination plant in the western hemisphere in Carlsbad, CA makes about 50 million gallons per day of drinking water for $0.005 per gal from the pacific ocean feed.  Its been running for about 5 years now.



If you meant half a cent per gallon, that sounds great phrased that way.  But at a million gallons per day for golf course irrigation in a desert environment, that could also be phrased as $5000 per day, or $150k per month.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Peter Ferlicca on August 24, 2021, 12:40:19 PM
Peter -


Have you looked at the grass that Desert Mountain used for Renegade and Seven? What do you think of it if you have? My impression is that it has held up well through 2 summers and last summer was high stress. I was told it's a bent variety. Desert Forest used to have bent fairways a long time ago - maybe it's a modification of that?





Desert Mountain is a fantasyland for how they manage turf.  Having a crew of 30-35 guys on each course, plus having extended closure times on each course makes it a different ballgame. 
Regarding Renegade and Seven, they are doing bent grass fairways with fescue rough, this only would work in north carefree which it is located in due to the higher elevation and cooler nights in the summer time.  There is no way a property could do that in the valley.  Also it requies a ton of water to keep it alive during the summer, hence why they close it down from July-August.  They also have to spray wall to wall fungicides to prevent disease pressure.  Both of those things cost a lot of money, something a VERY high end private club can do, but that is about it.  They also have 2 courses that are at the top of the mountain that they just hold onto the Rye year round and don't even bother with transition since it is cool enough.  I think they are only overseeding 3 of the courses now, as opposed to all 6 in the past. 




I am surprised no one has tried zoysia out here yet.  We had a test plot of zeon zoysia when I was at wickenburg ranch and it held its color throughout the winter even up there.  That seems to be the best option IMO for a turf that doesn't need to be overseeded. 




With regards to water with salt water, TRUST ME we already deal with a ton of salts with hardly any rain.  There is no way we could grow grass out here if we did that.  I water with reclaimed water that already has salts and chlorine in it.  We went 15 months without any significant rain from 2020 to 2021 and all kinds of guys were getting hit hard with rapid blight, which is caused by salt loads accumulating from not having a good flush of rainfall. 

Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: SBusch on August 24, 2021, 02:52:46 PM


Peter:


Thanks for these numbers, they are by far the best I've seen on this topic.  I'm actually surprised that the revenue numbers are not more skewed to the winter season.




The biggest revenue months are Jan-April, even though courses get overseeded well before that.  Most courses that I know get over half of their revenue in those 4 months.  Fall can be a nice time, but rates are higher after the new year.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Steve Lang on August 24, 2021, 07:01:53 PM
8)  The largest desalination plant in the western hemisphere in Carlsbad, CA makes about 50 million gallons per day of drinking water for $0.005 per gal from the pacific ocean feed.  Its been running for about 5 years now.

I worked on very large chemical plant project in the middle east that made desalinated water for $0.006 per gallon.  The irrigation spec for the green belt areas was 1500 parts per million total dissolved solids, feed water spec was about 45,000 part per million.

These are industrial world scale projects that can be easily repeated if there's the desire and an ocean shoreline nearby...


Steve,

Are those operating costs per gallon once the facility is up and running?  Or does that calculate in infrastructure, build costs, ongoing maintenance, etc?


Kalen,
Carlsbad costs can't speak for, value from their website, have to imagine its an all in type cost ... ? costs at different user's water meters.


For my project, that cost I quoted (actually $0.00568/gal or $1.50 per cubic meter) was a contract cost at the battery limits of the water treatment plant, so it would include capital recovery and normal operating & maintenance costs over the 25 year design life of those facilities.  It does not include the transfer piping infrastructure, which was a separate cost center for the project.  For a $30,000,000,000 project, utility water piping costs were many millions for distribution over 2700 acre site, but were pretty small percentage of things in end.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Steve Lang on August 24, 2021, 07:07:18 PM
8)  The largest desalination plant in the western hemisphere in Carlsbad, CA makes about 50 million gallons per day of drinking water for $0.005 per gal from the pacific ocean feed.  Its been running for about 5 years now.



If you meant half a cent per gallon, that sounds great phrased that way.  But at a million gallons per day for golf course irrigation in a desert environment, that could also be phrased as $5000 per day, or $150k per month.


YEP


~ quarter inch a day of desal water, over ~ 150 acres is going to cost you, if you can get such a contract cost at your water meter
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Jeff Schley on August 25, 2021, 10:59:17 AM
8)  The largest desalination plant in the western hemisphere in Carlsbad, CA makes about 50 million gallons per day of drinking water for $0.005 per gal from the pacific ocean feed.  Its been running for about 5 years now.



If you meant half a cent per gallon, that sounds great phrased that way.  But at a million gallons per day for golf course irrigation in a desert environment, that could also be phrased as $5000 per day, or $150k per month.


YEP


~ quarter inch a day of desal water, over ~ 150 acres is going to cost you, if you can get such a contract cost at your water meter
In the ME even the ground water is very salty and needs to be treated in RO plants. It is a reality of the region for fresh water. The more salt that is removed the more "sweet" it is. Treated water is commonly referred to as "sweet". Even in our homes you may only have "sweet" water coming into a drinking faucet at the sink. Everything else is throttled back in terms of treatment. In company housing some people try and cut into the "sweet" line to go throughout the house. If caught (and some are) it is a fire able offense. There just isn't the same level of convenience in many countries to turn a tap and expect water you can drink.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: John Emerson on August 26, 2021, 11:35:35 AM
It’s happening. Golfing communities in the desert are starting to worry.  They should be worried. 


https://www.vice.com/en/article/7kvavd/pipeline-to-water-golf-courses-in-drought-stricken-west-is-uss-stupidest-project (https://www.vice.com/en/article/7kvavd/pipeline-to-water-golf-courses-in-drought-stricken-west-is-uss-stupidest-project)




Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Kalen Braley on August 26, 2021, 03:20:56 PM
Here in Utah, small towns have been feeling it for awhile.  After a few close calls, this one has run out.  Combine that with the hotter temps in the now increasingly more shallow lakes... toxic algae blooms are quickly getting far worse.

fox13now.com/news/utah-drought/scofield-runs-out-of-drinking-water
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Jeff Schley on August 27, 2021, 05:21:15 AM
Here in Utah, small towns have been feeling it for awhile.  After a few close calls, this one has run out.  Combine that with the hotter temps in the now increasingly more shallow lakes... toxic algae blooms are quickly getting far worse.

fox13now.com/news/utah-drought/scofield-runs-out-of-drinking-water
Now factor in the all too imminent lack of hydro electric power, due to the low water level of dammed rivers and that 9-10% of electrical power to the grid could vanish as well. The domino effect is quite depressing. I believe AZ is or was considering building a desal plant on the gulf of mexico to make a deal with Mexico for their portion of the Colorado River water. Divert Mexico's portion farther up the river to AZ. In turn AZ would build the desal plant for Mexico to get their portion. Yes Mexico was a party to the treaty for water rights.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Jason Hines on August 27, 2021, 03:01:07 PM
Has anyone been able to find the outflow data of Lake Mead over the last 20-30 years?  Has it remained static and if it has increased, by how much?


I am having a hard time finding it to compare to the inflows from Lake Powell.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Kalen Braley on May 09, 2022, 08:15:55 PM
As the water conditions in the West continue to go from awful to horrific...

On the bright side, they'll be able to solve some missing person cases.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-61385811 (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-61385811)
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: John Emerson on May 09, 2022, 09:33:22 PM
I feel like the catastrophic moment is close and millions are going to be left holding the biggest bag of crap in USA history. Call me a pessimist, but people have buried their heads in the sand for too long and it’s going from bad to worse
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Mark Kiely on May 09, 2022, 11:41:24 PM
I feel like the catastrophic moment is close and millions are going to be left holding the biggest bag of crap in USA history. Call me a pessimist, but people have buried their heads in the sand for too long and it’s going from bad to worse


You've posted in this thread about six times stating how stupid it is that civilization exists in deserts. Do you have any solutions to propose or do you want to essentially keep posting, "I told you so" over and over? I'm genuinely curious because you seem to know quite a bit about soils and growing conditions. Short of walling off and relocating the southwestern U.S., what's the solution?
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Craig Sweet on May 10, 2022, 12:26:19 AM
FWIW....Scottsdale gets 11 inches of precipitation annually, and Deer Lodge, Montana...home of the Rock Creek Cattle Co. get 14 inches annually.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Peter Ferlicca on May 10, 2022, 07:38:01 AM
I feel like the catastrophic moment is close and millions are going to be left holding the biggest bag of crap in USA history. Call me a pessimist, but people have buried their heads in the sand for too long and it’s going from bad to worse




I too am sick and tired of Johns constant comments on how stupid we all are living in the southwest.  I would love to hear if John has any solutions other than we are all idiots unlike himself.  You are more than welcome to come to one of our local GCSAA chapter meetings and tell everyone how you feel.    I am currently a Superintendent at a golf course in Phoenix, I enjoy my life here, and so does everyone else that is flocking here like crazy.


John, I have mentioned it in past posts to try and quiet down all this alarmist talk, but do you have any idea of the percentage of potable water golf courses use in Arizona?  In 2019 U of A did a long research and concluded that golf in Arizona is a 4.2 Billion dollar business for the economy (tourism, hotels, restaurants, real estate values, etc.)  We have had many meetings in the past 5 years about reducing our output for water and reducing turf, but this is mainly for the old grandfathered courses that are wall to wall turf in central phoenix that still use potable.  Almost all new courses built since 1980 have been setup for reclaimed water and have less than 85 acres of turf.  The state of Arizona sits on top of many large Aquifers for well water.  The course I am currently at is doubling the size of the wastewater treatment plant to be able to handle the huge addition of new homes. I can't pump out enough dirty water to keep up with how much they produce.  It makes my job harder watering with reclaimed, but to be able to have a golf course community filled with happy residents that can enjoy golf everyday makes it worth it.
Title: Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
Post by: Steve_ Shaffer on May 10, 2022, 04:21:37 PM



El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana, California, recently celebrated its official relaunch following a three-year, $10 million renovation to modernize and increase the environmental sustainability and playability of its championship golf course.
[/size]The club’s par-71 golf course, which includes a history of hosting USGA, LPGA and charity events, underwent a comprehensive upgrade over the last three years. The course has been lengthened to 7,019 yards, with all turfgrass being replaced with a drought- and disease-tolerant hybrid Bermudagrass blend. Along with native landscaping, the new course design will save more than 35 million gallons of water per year, using 30 percent less water than in the past. Originally designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., the course was redesigned by his son, Rees Jones. Work also included strategic tree removal, improved designs on all putting greens, and better positioned bunkers and other elements.





https://www.golfcourseindustry.com/article/el-caballero-country-club-turf-water-renovation/