Thursday, June 23, 2016

Cactus & Pine GCSA hosts inaugural Water Summit at Desert Mountain

Summit focuses on the golf industries efficient use of water, sustainability efforts and the future of the game in Arizona

The Cactus & Pine GCSA inaugural Water Summit was held on June 21 at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Ariz. The summit was organized to provide Arizona politicians, government agencies, leading water experts and municipalities and allied golf organizations with an overview of the golf industries efficient use of water, sustainability efforts, water supply and demand, the upcoming release of the Arizona Golf Industry Economic Impact Study, community outreach and the future of the game in the state.

“It’s important that the golf industry educate our water providers, public, and particularly our politicians on the sustainability efforts that the industry has undertaken,” said Rory Van Poucke, Cactus & Pine GCSA president and general manager/Class A superintendent of Apache Sun Golf Club. “With increased government regulations, increased operating costs and expectations for the proper use of natural resources, it’s paramount that they understand the issues and difficulties that our industry is facing now and in the future.”

Speakers included Rick Amalfi of Aquatics Consulting, golf course architect Gary Brawley of Gary Brawley Golf Design, Paul Brown, Ph.D., of the University of Arizona, Class A superintendent Rob Collins on Paradise Valley Country Club, Desert Mountain director of agronomy Shawn Emerson, Warren Gorowitz of Ewing Irrigation, Ronald Klawitter of the Salt River Project, Blaine Miller of APS, Hunter Moore from the Office of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, golf course superintendent Nathan Nuemann, Troon vice president of agronomy Dave Nicholls, Pam Pickard of the Central Arizona Project, golf course architect Andy Staples of Staples Golf Design, Jeff Tannler of the Arizona Department of Water, Brian Whitlark of the USGA, Ian Williams of Rain Bird and golf course superintendent Jonathan Williams of Sewailo Golf Club.

The featured speaker was Moore, who serves as the natural resource policy advisor for Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. Moore focused on current and future water use as well as challenges that Arizona will face in regards to potential cutbacks in the near future.
Pictured from the left is Cactus & Pine GCSA Executive Director Carmella Ruggiero, Cactus & Pine GCSA President Rory Van Poucke, Hunter Moore from the office of Governor Doug Ducey and Desert Mountain director of agronomy Shawn Emerson.
“In my opinion, the Phoenix/Scottsdale area is the premier golf destination in the country,” said Desert Mountain director of agronomy Shawn Emerson, who also served as host for the day’s activities. “The game is critical to tourism and the health of our communities who rely on golf to create jobs and consumer spending. Education, projects like the economic impact study and continued community outreach will protect our industry and ensure a bright future for the game in Arizona.”

The event was attended by 104 participants including staff members from the offices of Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and Sen. John McCain, staff members from the office of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and numerous policymakers from local municipalities, state agencies and water districts including the Arizona Department of Water Resources, Arizona Fish and Game, Arizona Municipal Water Users Association, Arizona Public Service, Central Arizona Project, Office of Pest Management – Aquatics Division, Salt River Project and Scottsdale Water.

“Our association’s goal is to educate our members and represent the turf and golf industry in Arizona,” said Cactus & Pine GCSA Executive Director Carmella Ruggiero who organized the event at Desert Mountain. “Events like the summit and town hall meeting that was held in 2015 give us the opportunity to showcase our industry and convey our message to our water providers and policymakers in the state.”

For more information on the association, visit the Cactus and Pine website.

Pictured from left is Cactus & Pine GCSA President Rory Van Poucke, Central Arizona Project Past President and current board member Pam Pickard and Desert Mountain director of agronomy Shawn Emerson. 

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