In California, there are 921 golf courses, 124 of which are located in the desert. In the Palm Springs area, 25% of their pristine groundwater supply from wells is used to water golf courses. An average 18-hole golf course sprawls over 110 to 115 acres and conservatively uses almost 90 million gallons of water per year, enough to fill 136 Olympic-size swimming pools, according to Mike Huck, a water management consultant who works with golf courses statewide.
While agriculture in our state is being rationed, threatening our food supply and economy, I believe stricter restraints on golf courses should be enforced. Although many courses have made strides to becoming more water-efficient, it is not enough. Time has come to make painful choices and choosing farms over recreation may be one of these.
I appreciate the value of outdoor exercise, and I’m sure many golfers will take exception to the suggestion that we ration their activity, but we are in a 20-year mega-drought and I believe we should not sacrifice farming to golf courses.