The "Why" Behind October's 'Colorado Basin Golf & Water Summit'


By Ronnie Miles, Senior Director of Advocacy, NGCOA


Many parts of our country have dealt with some form of drought in the past, but none like what our Western states are experiencing, especially in the southwest. The Colorado River is the predominant water source for most western states. The Colorado Basin region comprises the Upper Basin: Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico. The Lower Basin consists of California, Arizona, and Nevada. Fortunately, Winter 2022/2023 saw record-breaking snowfall throughout the region. This greatly benefited California and much of the Upper Basin while providing hopeful relief for Arizona and Nevada.

So what does this mean for golf courses in the Lower Basin? What impact will it have on golf courses in the Upper Basin states? There are more questions than answers at this point. To help our industry better understand this issue's current and future state, the golf industry is coming together to host a one-day event providing insight into this problem and answers to some of these questions. The event is titled the “Colorado Basin Golf & Water Summit.” The Summit’s educational program, scheduled for October 12 in Las Vegas, will provide historical and forward-looking research, data, perspectives, and more related to golf course water usage.

Speakers will include key leaders within the state water management industry, leading industry experts from the USGA, GCSAA, and other industry experts sharing the latest technology and agronomic best practices. Included will be updates from leading university research centers and industry members sharing their stories of the changes they have and continue to make at their golf courses.

Why is this important to all golf course owners and operators? Conserving water can significantly contribute to protecting the environment. Reducing water usage helps conserve natural resources.

A golf course can substantially reduce water bills and operational costs by implementing water-saving practices and freeing up resources for other important golf course areas, such as maintenance, improvement projects, or enhancing player experiences.

Golf courses that actively promote water conservation demonstrate social responsibility and environmental stewardship. It can enhance the golf course's public image and attract environmentally conscious players, sponsors, and partners. Being recognized as a sustainable and eco-friendly establishment can also lead to positive media coverage and community support.

Local or state regulations restricting water access may not impact your golf course, but that may soon change. Most scientists believe climate change is the primary cause of water restrictions. In many states, this is caused by an increased population. Implementing water conservation measures helps build resilience and ensures your golf course is better prepared to cope with future water shortages or restrictions.

While the Colorado Basin Golf & Water Summit targets golf industry leaders and industry professionals from Western states, the information and best practices shared can significantly benefit our industry; conserving and promoting clean water is something we all must address. REGISTER TODAY!


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