LAS VEGAS, July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern Nevada golf courses are
discovering the benefits of replacing thirsty grass with water-efficient
landscaping. Since 2001, Las Vegas area courses have converted more than
18.5 million square feet of grass -- about 425 acres -- to water-smart
landscaped, target-style courses resulting in a 1 billion gallon per year
Eleven courses in Southern Nevada currently are in the midst of
landscape conversions: among them, Red Rock Country Club has converted more
than a million square feet this year alone at its Arroyo and Mountain
Spanish Trail Golf and Country Club is undergoing a major overhaul of
the entire course, including turf removal, reshaping and improving ponds
and moving irrigation lines, said superintendent Jon Valentine.
The City of Henderson has launched major landscape conversions at its
municipal Wild Horse Golf Course, while the Angel Park Golf Club is in the
midst of a 70-acre conversion scheduled for completion in 2008, said
superintendent Bill Rohret. So far, he said, players are giving the changes
"We don't hear any more complaints about balls being lost in the
rough," Rohret said.
Along with landscape conversions, golf courses take other measures to
save the community's most precious natural resource. All local golf courses
have on-site weather stations linked to their irrigations systems by
computers that enable each course to base their irrigation schedules on
daily weather conditions. These systems also monitor evapotranspiration, or
the amount of moisture given off by grasses and plants, so water is applied
only as needed.
Most golf courses use valve-in-head technology in their irrigation
systems. While typical residential and commercial systems have one valve
for every five to 10 sprinkler heads, golf course systems are equipped with
one valve for each sprinkler head. This provides them with greater control
over watering run times and coverage.
Current drought restrictions subject local golf courses to water
budgets, restricting them to 6.3 acre-feet of water per acre. (An acre-foot
equals about 326,000 gallons.) Significant financial penalties are applied
to any water used over budgeted amounts.
Golf course water budgets are based upon acre-feet of water (including
potable, raw, reclaimed and recycled water) for each acre irrigated,
including lakes and ponds that exist within a golf course and those serving
as golf course irrigation reservoirs. Once measured, the irrigated acreage
remains fixed, creating an incentive for golf courses to convert unneeded
turf to other styles of water-efficient landscaping. If a golf course
expands its course by increasing the number of playing holes, a new
irrigated acreage is determined.
To further extend their water savings, golf courses in Southern Nevada
primarily use warm season grasses. Some municipal courses don't overseed,
so the grass gets almost no water during the winter months and only about
two-thirds as much as a cool-season grass, such as fescue, would require in
Through these many efforts, Southern Nevada golf courses are doing
their share in the community's ongoing efforts to conserve water and use it
"Golf courses are the most judicious business about the way they use
water," said Valentine. "We don't just set a timer and walk away. Water
conservation is one of the biggest parts of what we do every day."
Contact: J.C. Davis
SOURCE Southern Nevada Water Authority