Friday, February 28, 2014

Recent Storms Provide Some Relief

Recent storms that started on February 6th  measured just over 5" of rain at our GBGC's weather station. More importantly these storms dumped significant amounts of precipitation in the American River watershed and drastically changed the trajectory of a declining Folsom lake level. These series of storms along with a upgraded forecast from persistent drought to normal in the west has water districts breathing a little easier. We are by no means out of the drought or expect to be in 2014 but the San Juan Water District feels they can meet water delivery needs as long as they achieve conservation levels along with getting some normal rainfall through the spring.

I have been getting into the habit of checking out this CA produced graphic daily.

On Wednesday February 26, the elected board of the San Juan Water District (SJWD) unanimously adopted Resolution No. 14-05, Declaring and Implementing a Stage 3 Water Warning. The Stage 3 Water Warning Language requires a reduction of "indoor and outdoor water use by 25%". Other common sense conservation measures become mandatory such as "Water shall be confined to customers property and shall not be allowed to run off to adjoining properties or to roadside ditch or gutter". "Free flowing hoses are prohibited", "Washing streets, sidewalks and driveways are prohibited" and "Restaurants shall serve water only upon request".

Another recent graphic depicting part of the
 big picture the entire state is currently facing

How Does This Effect GBGC Members Who Live in the SJWD ?

A conscientious homeowner asked the district staff at the board meeting how the 25% mandatory reduction would be enforced especially for those responsible homeowners who have already have  been conserving based on the Stage 2 request of a voluntary reduction. The district responded that they are currently not going to be monitoring meters of residents who are doing their  part but watching the large water users and following up on  tips to the district on water wasters. Bottom line is the district needs to achieve the 25% reduction to remain at the Stage 3 level. The Sac Bee confirmed my recollection of the meeting this morning in an article stating that the "agency will enforce the 25 percent conservation order primarily looking for water waste violations". The article continues "If this does not prove effective by April", "the district will begin monitoring water meter data, particularly for those customers who use the greatest amount of water"

How Does This Effect GBGC?

We have been monitoring this drought situation for awhile because as a golf club, we use our share of water. We have an on-going dialog with the SJWD about our shared water conservation goals. Mitch and I have been attending the districts board meetings and have volunteered to serve on a committee the district is forming with industry professionals to share conservation knowledge and techniques that can be shared with the public. We are committed to be part of the solution of the SJWD meeting it's conservation goals along with developing alternative irrigation strategies for the future of the club, both short and long term. 

Another telling story of the drought situation we all face.

What is GBGC's Plan?

We are in the process of installing an industrial air compressor at the cart barn and will start by next week blowing off carts and wiping down with rags and cleaners rather then using water to wash them. At the maintenance yard we have already adopted the same procedure with our mowers and maintenance equipment. 

On the golf course we are putting extra effort into our annual irrigation audit, checking psi, nozzle wear on every irrigation head on the course to assure peak efficiency this coming irrigation year. Extra scrutiny is being placed on irrigation pump station maintenance and irrigation water delivery valve and meters to assure we have accurate data helping us to make sound agronomic irrigation decisions. 

Now that  we  have a solid number to work with we can put the finishing touches on our drought contingency plan. We will look at applying more wetting agents then in the past along with experimenting with some new polymer technology both of which will help with conservation efforts.  More hand watering will be necessary as we will need to apply less water overall but even with all of this we will have to look at reducing turf in areas to achieve the 25% mandated reduction. Bottom line it will be very difficult to wetting agent and hand water our way out of a 25% reduction. Where to reduce turf will be a joint decision with GBGC management and the GBGC golf committees newly formed water use sub-committee chaired by our own Craig Johns who is and expert on these issues. I hope this sub-committee will be a long term thing as I for one believe these water issues will be on-going. This particular drought will end but California water issues and how they pertain to golf and GBGC will persist.

2/28/14 - A Welcome Sight 

It would be nice to capture all of this in our pond
or better yet in Folsom Reservoir.