Water Conservation Tips for Golf Courses

Lawn Watering and Water Conservation TipsRain Bird and The Intelligent Use of Water™ is about using water efficiently – in the most precise and even manner possible, minimizing waste.

The following are a number of practices and products that can be used to manage water more efficiently.

1. Promote the water/cost saving benefits of water conserving products.

Water conservation products are better for the environment AND they can save money. Some courses may need to be educated on the benefits of purchasing a more expensive water conserving product, even though it will save them money in the long run.

For example, the automatic monitoring afforded by a central control system saves water, time and money. Design, install, and sell water-conserving products that benefit the environment and the customer’s pocket.

2. Use high efficiency nozzles for uniform coverage.

Use nozzles that apply water evenly. Even water distribution not only reduces water usage, but improves course appearance by reducing 'brown spots'. Proper nozzle and pressure setting is critical to determining optimal distribution.

High efficiency nozzles are matched precipitation nozzles that provide the best and most uniform coverage, thereby eliminating watering gaps and reducing water usage… by as much as 30%. To select the proper nozzle and pressure for your spacing, consult your Rain Bird Australia Golf Specialist.

3. Install an automatic controller with water-conserving functions.

The following are some of the key features currently available in Rain Bird Golf Automatic Controllers for maximum flexibility and water efficiency:

  • Multiple start times – allows several shorter and more precise run times to prevent run-off and puddles
  • Multiple independent programs – allow the watering schedule to be divided into smaller, more precise watering schedules to accommodate the watering needs of different areas of the course
  • Water Budget - provides easy and flexible adjustments to the amount of water used for irrigation
  • Automatic shut on / off – allows the user to pause a watering schedule when irrigation isn’t needed and resume watering when appropriate

4. For complete system automation, consider a weather station and central control system.

Central control systems show annual water savings of 25 – 30% on average. A central control system operates a single or multiple controllers, sensors and other irrigation devices from one central location. It contains all of the functions listed in the Controller section above plus additional sensors that monitor and control environmental conditions…automatically and without the need for personal intervention.

  • Cycle + Soak™ - provides water management to special areas throughout the course that have slopes or poor drainage – once soak times are established, the sprinklers are not allowed to apply water at an application rate that the soil cannot accept.
  • Smart Feature Response – enables the controller to detect system problems like line breaks or broken sprinklers and shuts down irrigation to the affected zones to prevent water waste – ensures that you’re watering to maximum efficiency through the night.
  • ET Programming – enables the controller to calculate daily evapotranspiration (ET) values and adjust the station run times to replace only the water used by the plants. This maintains a healthy course while minimizing water use.

5. Become more educated about irrigation efficiency: become IAA Certified.

By becoming IAA certified you will become more knowledgeable about designing and installing efficient golf course irrigation systems. Much of the coursework includes information on water-conserving products and techniques. By understanding these, you can perform irrigation audits to assess the efficiency of an irrigation system.

And, you can better educate your customers on the benefits of an efficient, water-conserving irrigation system to a healthy environment. Contact the Irrigation Association of Australia or AGCSA (Australian Golf Course Superintendent Association) for more information.