Water Restrictions Forecast for California

Golf operations in the nation's most populous state may soon have to operate with less water as rationing plans are in the works in Los Angeles, the Bay Area and other parts of the Golden State.

On February 17, the governing board of the L.A. Department of Water and Power, the nation's biggest public utility, voted to impose water rationing in Los Angeles for the first time in nearly two decades. While the details of the plan will be formally voted on in March, the measure will force homes and business to pay a penalty rate for any water use in excess of a reduced monthly allowance. It is expected to take effect in May. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power supplies water and electricity to 3.8 million homes and businesses in the nation's second largest city.

Meanwhile, farther north in California, the 500,000 customers in the Contra Costa Water District near San Francisco will likely face mandatory rationing in the coming month as well. Two other water districts in the Bay Area, the East Bay Municipal Utility District and the Santa Clara Valley Water District, have each already begun rationing plans or are considering them in the next month.

"We could expect almost all of the major communities in California to go to some form of mandatory conservation," California Department of Water Resources Director Lester Snow.

For golf facilities in California and elsewhere in the country that are facing water restrictions, GCSAA offers its Drought Resource Center, which includes state drought plans and related documents, information packets, the latest industry news, GCM articles, links to information from allied associations and the EPA, access to a state water withdrawal database and more.

The above article originally appeared in GCM News Weekly, an e-publication of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (www.gcsaa.org).