Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Saving water

Nice to see that the park authorities at Rodeo Beach have shut down the rinsing stations in response to the California drought. Since the area is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, I'm not sure the beach is subject to the state rules -- but since I think the effective purpose of the state rules is to make us all more thoughtful about saving water, the move seems all to the good.

On the subject of saving water, I was much heartened by this Mother Jones article about the U.S. Open Golf Championship: "The Best Golfers in the World Are Playing on a Poop-Watered Course."

According to the Alliance for Water Efficiency, a typical golf course soaks up between 100,000 and one million gallons of water a week; golf courses in California's Palm Springs use on average 800,000 gallons per day—more water than an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Golf resorts in dry states facing government-mandated water reductions and drought-shaming have begun to find ways to use recycled water and minimize the area they irrigate.

Chambers Bay [in Washington State] -- located in a region that's also suffering from drought -- aims to change golf courses' wasteful reputation. The course is irrigated with reclaimed wastewater and fertilized with sewage from a nearby treatment plant. The groundskeepers landscape with native plants and have cleaned up land and marine habitats for local wildlife. Oh, and that brown grass everyone is fussing over? That's Fescue, a drought resistant grass well-adapted to the relatively cool climate of Western Washington.

My trips to Hawaii, where so much land is given over to golf courses groomed with non-native European grasses, have made me instinctively hostile to most courses. But perhaps the sport can adapt ...


Hattie said...

I just learned that there are no native Hawaiian grasses at all!

janinsanfran said...

That doesn't actually surprise me. When we spent that month in Hilo, I remember sitting on the ground at Lili`uokalani Garden and wondering: what is this stuff?

Hattie said...

I think it was probably that stuff called centipede grass.

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