Aliante Golf Course turf conversion
Aliante Golf Course turf conversion

♪♪ Jason: Aliante Golf Club’s
18 hole championship course stretches more than 7,000
yards from the back tees. Situated in the master-planned
Del Webb community, it boasts a lush
desert landscape that includes colorful,
drought-friendly shrubs and trees. Although the course was designed
with the desert in mind, Aliante has a lot of unused
grass and recently embarked on a large turf
conversion project through the SNWA’s Water Smart
Landscapes Rebate program. How much grass
did Aliante remove through the SNWA’s
rebate program? Aliante Golf Course took out a little over 129,000
square feet of turf. The city of North Las Vegas
that operates the golf course will receive a little over
$200,000 in incentives. Aliante removed grass near
the back of the driving range and near it’s ninth
and 18th holes. The conversion will
save the golf course and the city of North Las Vegas, seven million gallons
of water a year. The SNWA worked with
golf course managers to determine where grass
could be eliminated without impacting the
playability of the course. They used GPS technology
to track the movements of 105 players over
a three day period. Data was overlaid
on course imagery to illustrate high traffic
and low or no traffic areas. Bill: Several hundred rounds
of golf were recorded and then they supplied
us with a great graphic of where carts went,
where they didn’t go, and it showed us some areas
that we might wanna consider to take the turf
out and save water. And so we also took a look
at it other than a GPS look from a golf professional’s
look, or a golfer’s look, or a golf course architect, to
where it really didn’t change the shape or playability
of the course and it still made
it fair for people and didn’t really turn
it into a desert course. Jason: Many golf
courses are already very efficient water users. With computerized
irrigation systems, sophisticated weather
monitoring devices, and well-educated
course superintendents. A number of courses
also have completed the complex application process to connect to and
use recycled water rather than potable supplies. Still, the shear amount
of landscaping results in steep water bills and
that’s a major driver for courses to remove
grass in unused areas. But it’s also about
doing the right thing for the valley’s future. Right now Aliante Golf
Course is the number two user of water intent city
of North Las Vegas. And so we took a
look at it and said, “What are our responsibilities?” We asked the community,
“What do you think?” And then we came up
with the participation with this great program from
Southern Nevada Water Authority to remove some turf
yet not affect the feel of the golf course, but
do our part in terms of conserving water. Golf Course
Superintendent, Jeff Lezon, manages the irrigation system
and water use here at Aliante. His team goes to great
lengths to ensure the course operates as
efficiently as possible. A lot of the golf courses here, from what I understand, some of ’em have wells, but
some of ’em are running off of city water and
that’s what we’re doing. We don’t want to waste a
drop of that city water ’cause we know
where it comes from and we know how hard
it is to replace it. Jason: Since 1999, golf
courses have converted more than 39 million square
feet, or 900 acres of grass through SNWA’s rebate program. The conversions have
produced a savings of 2.2 billion gallons of
water for our community. Patrick: So golf
courses as a sector in the Southern
Nevada community, only use about 6% of the water. And the reason is that
they’re on water budgets and that means they get 6.3
acre feet per acre annually. And they stick to those budgets. They also have professional
irrigators on staff and weather stations to run
their irrigation systems. So water is important to
a golf course obviously and it’s a big part of their
maintenance budget financially. So they are very
water conscience.

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