Let’s debunk Sun City golf courses’ water overuse

Sun City and the Recreation Centers of Sun City, Inc. (RCSC), are at the forefront of implementing water conservation measures writes, Bill Cook is general manager of Recreation Centers of Sun City.

Opinion:Sun City golf courses are doing their part to use less water, and to suggest otherwise is simply mistaken.

By Bill Cook opinion contributor | The Arizona Republic

Sun City was built during a time when Arizona was considered to be the Wild West. The state population was a mere 1.3 million, and there was plenty of water to go around with few limitations on usage.

Golf courses were built with hundreds of acres of wall-to-wall grass and lakes were built with beauty in mind – with little regard for conservation. That was 1960. 

Today, Arizonans are aware of the finite nature of our water resources, and Sun City and the Recreation Centers of Sun City, Inc. (RCSC), the owner and operator of all Sun City recreational facilities, are at the forefront of implementing water conservation measures.

Since 2006, RCSC has invested nearly $14 million in golf course water conservation projects, including turf reduction, irrigation upgrades and low water-use plant conversion. In addition, Recreation Centers of Sun City’s board has approved a budget of an additional $20 million in similar projects, including the relining of its lake at a cost of $8 million.

Sun City and the centers are not taking water conservation lightly.  

Sun City is replacing turf, aging irrigation

From 2004 to 2010, RCSC’s golf courses underused their Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) water allocation by an average of 133.94 acre-feet per year. However, the centers was seeing increased water usage from their Lakes East golf course well.

After an engineering study was completed, it was determined that the RCSC Viewpoint Lake, which stores irrigation water for RCSC golf courses, was leaking. The repair estimate was more than $9 million, which RCSC did not have.

Special report:Arizona golf courses use way more water than they’re allotted

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