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Golf courses putter away scarce water

Dear Editor,

This summer has been one of the driest years in history, comparing to the drought of 1977. Throughout the valley mandatory water restrictions have been placed, and concern over critical fish habitat and water quality has been raised. With all of the fires and overall dead and dry look of the valley, how is it that most of the eight golf courses in this valley continue to pump water on their lawns?

I know that some, if not most, of the courses utilize their “own” water sources; however, does anyone really believe that this use does not affect the overall water tables throughout the valley?

My frustration mostly exists because of what I see to be blatant overwatering, especially in places where only sage grows (and even it is hurting this year).

In Glenwood Springs you are only allowed to water every other day, and all new landscaping needs to be reviewed as it typically needs more water. Has anyone reviewed the overall water use of local golf courses? Are these organizations paying a surcharge like businesses in Denver for excessive water use?

The Aspen Times Weekly wrote about concern over pesticides running off golf courses into drainages with little flow, and how that negatively affects habitat. Did anyone follow up on this?

It seems that a small number of usually wealthy individuals have these mini oases to run around on. I drove past the obnoxious development of Aspen Glen and saw maybe six golfers on the entire course. Hello, I think we could call that overconsumption, and waste, of resources by a few rich people!

Do any of these golfers or golf courses even care? I called five of the eight local golf courses and no one stated that they were managing any water restrictions, even with their “own” sources. How is it that these businesses face no restrictions? Hello, Roaring Fork Valley residents! How do you want your resources used? If anything, could someone educate these businesses that it isn’t smart to water at 1 p.m., on a 92-degree day, while the wind is blowing?

Concerned,

Michael Whigham

Glenwood Springs


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