As you’ve all read, the Arizona Department of Water Resources has published stages on redistributing water use for the past 40 years.
If you’re brave enough, you can check out the phases that have been published and implemented over the past few decades. What you will find is that golf courses are barely mentioned and the only mention I could find is that a golf course cannot exceed 95 acres today.
As you can imagine, there are instructions for farming, ranching, mining, etc., the major water uses in Arizona. As the drought continues (NOAA left us in an extreme drought pattern), water becomes less and less available, so our golf course directors and general manager have released information about grass that uses less water.
We have seven golf courses that were built decades ago and almost all of them are over 95 acres like Grandview is 165 acres. There has been discussion and apparently some estimates to reduce the size of the golf courses at a cost of $ 5-6 million. I also had my general manager tell me that we were going to be grandfathers and that I shouldn’t have to worry.
Well, since that conversation, you’ve seen articles on how to modify the lawn grass to use less water. But come on, if the ADWR enforces the 95 acre limit or just reduces the amount of water we are allotted to irrigate the courses, we’re going to spend millions of dollars to reduce the size of the courses and come up with it the plan to create a kind of landscaping project to make the reduction areas more appealing.
I suggested the following plan, which was immediately discarded as they are willing to spend $ 5-6 million of your money to save all seven golf courses that are not paying for themselves and are being used again by non-residents.
If you looked at 165 acres at Grandview for the sake of conversation, 1. Sell Grandview Golf Course. 2. Create a 100 foot green belt that runs behind the houses that face the course. Yes I know you paid extra to be on the course but no one told you it would be there forever and hopefully a tasteful green belt with a walkway is better than golf balls bouncing off your windows. 3. Sell the remaining space to a developer. I assume that once the green belt is created, we will have more than 100 acres to work with. 4. One hundred acres at a conservative $ 50,000 per acre brings in $ 5 million. 5. Take the $ 5 million to renovate the aging six other golf courses (plumbing, more and smarter irrigation technology, plus some considerations on the labor cost of maintaining the courses with autonomous mowers, etc.). 6. Build more facilities that have become more popular with new residents, such as: B. Pickleball. 7. The 100 acres would also create 400 new homes, which will add approximately $ 400,000 in new annual fees and a one-time increase of $ 1.4 million in the maintenance fee for the new homes that are sold. Yes, we would also have 800 new residents to use the facilities.
Remember, the general manager wouldn’t even consider this idea.
The golf courses are financial losers. However, we are a golf community. But do we need seven golf courses? Are you looking to spend $ 5-6 million to reduce the size of the courses, which will likely increase annual fees dramatically? Or create a $ 6.4 million source of revenue for modernization and improvement?
We need some transparency about the water situation. I know the golf course bosses hesitate, hoping the ADWR will be friendly to the golf courses and leave us alone. Do you really think this is going to happen? Do you think our annual rainfall will change?
You all see the new houses being built. Do you think the ADWR will allocate water for golf courses rather than the new homes and businesses being built in the valley? Head down Loop 303 towards I-17 and see a $ 35 billion computer chip factory being built (with all the jobs and houses that come with it). Do you think their water needs will be restricted so that we can irrigate our golf courses?
We have to be proactive and now create a water plan for the golf course and not wait for us to be under pressure. Why not be responsible residents and do the right thing, or do what we’ve done so far and bury your head in the sand and hope that the annual rainfall will increase. The ADWR will understand that we need seven golf courses that are dramatically larger than their published space limits, or just dramatically prepare for the $ 5-6 million spend and fee hike.
I suggest you email Sue Fitzsimons, the new Chief Executive Officer, who will take office in July, to set up a committee to review this pressing matter and come up with a plan.
Sun City West