This past April, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval established the Nevada Drought Forum to bring together the best minds, managers and all interested stakeholders to discuss the drought in Nevada, identify best conservation practices and policy needs and offer him recommendations.
On July 17, the Nevada golf industry had a chance to participate in Nevada Drought Forum meetings in Las Vegas. Northern Nevada was represented by the Sierra Nevada GCSA President Rob Williams with Southern Nevada GCSA President Grant Becwar representing the southern portion of the state.
Messaging was focused on golf’s water use – less than two percent of the state total – and course efforts to reduce water usage through sound agronomic practices, efficient and targeted irrigation, use of reclaimed water, turfgrass research and continuing education provided by GCSAA and its affiliated chapters.
Additionally, the economic benefit of golf facilities in the state was highlighted. Nevada golf courses are businesses that serve as a valuable community asset, a source of tax revenues and employment, and an important recreational outlet for community members of all ages. The 98 golf courses in Nevada employ approximately 5,000 individuals, generate over $300 million in wages and have a direct economic impact of $1.1 billion.
“It was a great opportunity for the golf industry to show our policymakers that we are a beneficial user of water,” said Williams who serves as superintendent at Stockton Golf & Country Club. “Our industry is going to play an important role in helping further develop the state as a leader in global tourism and we want to make sure our officials know that we can provide a great product while still reducing our environmental footprint.”
“The golf industry appreciates the opportunity to participate in these forums and we look forward to working with the state and our local water districts to reduce the effects of this very serious drought,” stated Becwar, superintendent at The Revere Golf Club.
Thanks to Rob and Grant for taking time out of their schedules to represent the industry. For more information on the Nevada Drought Forum, visit the website at www.drought.nv.gov.