Some Arizona golf courses are pushing back against the state’s plan to reduce water use

 A senior couple enjoys Riverview Golf Course/Photo courtesy of golf course.

By Ian James | Arizona Republic

Managers of some Arizona golf courses are fighting a plan that would cut water use at a time when the state is being forced to confront shrinking water supplies.

A group representing golf courses has been pushing back against a proposal by state officials that would reduce overall water use on courses, instead offering a plan that would entail less conservation. 

Opposition to the state’s proposal for golf courses has emerged over the past several months, aired in sometimes-tense virtual meetings where representatives of courses have said they understand the need to conserve but are concerned the proposed reductions in water allotments would damage their businesses.

The latest proposal by the Arizona Department of Water Resources would require Phoenix-area golf courses that use groundwater to reduce their total combined water use by 3.1% compared to current allotments under a previous plan.

Representatives of a newly formed group called the Arizona Alliance for Golf opposed those reductions and offered a counterproposal that, based on the state’s analysis, would decrease water use on courses that pump groundwater by 1.8%.

The group’s attempts to assert its position have included repeated meetings with state officials, the launch of a new website urging people to “speak up for Arizona golf,” and emails seeking to recruit more members to “have a united voice” and “protect our game.” The group also welcomed Gov. Doug Ducey as their featured speaker at a kick-off event in April.

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