Golf Course Superintendents' Attitudes and Perceptions Toward Using Reuse Water for Irrigation in the Southwestern United States

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  • 1 Department of Environmental and Resource Sciences and Cooperative Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, NV 89152.
  • | 2 University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, Las Vegas, NV 89146-3160.
  • | 3 Department of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0036.
  • | 4 University of California Cooperative Extension, Moreno Valley, CA 92557-8718.

Golf course superintendents in the southwestern United States (Tucson, Ariz.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Orange County, Calif.) were surveyed to assess attitudes toward using reuse water for irrigation. Eighty-nine golf course personnel returned the survey, with 28% indicating that they irrigate with municipal water, 36% with well water, and 27% with reuse water. The reason for switching to reuse water varied by state, with 40% of respondents switching in Arizona because of mandates, 47% switching in Nevada because of cost incentives, and 47% switching in California because it was considered a more reliable source of water. Less than 20% of the respondents rated the use of reuse water on golf courses and parks to have a negative impact on cost, the environment and health. However, respondents indicated that using reuse water does have a negative impact on the operations of the golf course, with pond maintenance and irrigation maintenance having the highest negative impact (∼80%). Multiple regression analysis revealed that among those who indicated that using reuse water would have a negative impact on golf course management, a higher percentage were individuals who had a greater number of years of experience irrigating with reuse water (P = 0.01) and individuals who have taken classes on how to use reuse water (P = 0.05). Respondents who currently irrigate with reuse water indicated they had changed a wide range of landscape and turfgrass management practices as a result of using reuse water. Based on the results of this survey, it was concluded that golf course personnel in the southwestern U.S. do not oppose the transition to reuse water for irrigation. However, it was also clear they recognize using such water negatively impacts their golf courses' operations.

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