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Golf and Water Conservation

Water conservation in golf is a hot topic
Water conservation in golf is a hot topic and whit the current global warming, a topic that becomes extremely important in the near future. Between-us recently found in a pilot with five Catalan golf courses, that courses can save up to €550.000,- per year on water use, independent of reputational effects. Time to ask long-time expert in sustainable golf and chairman of the International Sustainability Council, Mr. Ronald G. Dodson for his opinion:

“Using too much water for irrigation purposes makes no sense from an economic, environmental or social point of view. It is simply a waste of money and resources and can cause increased demand for additional agronomic actions that are equally expensive and wasteful. This does not mention that wasting water simply sends the wrong message to the rest of the non-golfing world.

Speaking of the non-golfing world, it is of interest that of all the water on Earth, only 1% is presently useable by humans.  Of that 1%, 99% is ground water, 0.86% is lakes and 0.02% is rivers.  In addition, that 1% is not evenly distributed across the globe. While water use on golf courses is a small percentage of the water used for irrigation purposes, the fact of the matter is that golf courses tend to stick out like a sore thumb. In addition, using too much water for irrigation not only causes agronomic problems, it also costs money.  This economic point is not only directly connected with the actual cost of the water, but in regard to the electricity used to move the water. Three-fourths of the Earth’s surface is covered with water. Water regenerates and is redistributed through evaporation, making it seem endlessly renewable. So why worry? About 97% is salt water and 2% is frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps. Thus that 1% of the world's available water supply is a precious commodity necessary for our survival. A simple example of how easy it is to contaminate water is to consider that one drop of oil can make up to 6.6 gallons (24.9 liters) of water undrinkable.

Some more data: 70% of the world’s water is used for agriculture, 22% for industry and 8% for domestic use. Low and middle income countries use 82% of their water for agriculture, 10% for industry and 8% for domestic use. High income countries use 30% of their water for agriculture, 59% for industry and 11% for domestic use. 1.1 billion people on the Planet lack adequate drinking water access; and 2.6 billion people lack basic water sanitation. The average American uses about 152 gallons (575 liters) of water per day, with about 60% of that being used outdoors (watering lawns, washing cars, etc.) The average European uses 66 gallons (250 liters) of water per day. The 1.1 billion people who lack adequate water access, use less than 5 gallons (19 liters) per day.

The bottom line: If golf wants to just become a footnote in history as some wasteful activity that human’s used to be involved in… just keep wasting water and the dream will come true.”

Ronald G. Dodson, Chairman
The International Sustainability Council 


Sustainable Golf Events: the Index

Sustainable Golf Index benchmarks professional golf events
For the second year running, the Sustainable Golf Index is benchmarking professional golf events on sustainability. With 82 events from the European Tour, Ladies Tour, Senior Tour and Challenge Tour, the Sustainable Golf Index is the most in-depth analysis on sustainability at events.
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The Dutch

A unique Inland Links Golf Course
The Dutch is an International Golf Club situated in a stunning location in the ‘Green Hart’ of The Netherlands next to the village of Spijk (just 4 kms from Gorinchem and 30 minutes drive east of Rotterdam) with good access to all other major towns and cities throughout the country and central Europe. Its gently undulating fairways have been designed to perfectly harmonize with the surrounding countryside and the attractive woodland and conservation area of the adjacent ‘Lingebos’.
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What is the Sustainable Golf Project?

In the past, sustainability was viewed as a giant risk factor. Today it is a true business opportunity for eco-efficiencies and reputation improvement as well as a source of innovation. Since 2010 the Sustainable Golf Project is helping golf courses and events turn their footprint into profit.

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