SCGA Public Affairs


Thursday, August 11, 2022

Today Governor Newsom released a comprehensive plan to accommodate the state’s hotter, drier future by capturing and storing more water, recycling more wastewater, desalinating seawater, and desalinating brackish groundwater.

The “Plan” lays out a series of actions aimed at preparing California for an estimated 10% decrease in the state’s water supply by 2040 due to decreased runoff as a result of permanently hotter, drier conditions. In general, the “Plan” emphasizes the acceleration of currently planned infrastructure projects, upgrading inefficient water systems, and boosting conservation. In specific, the “Plan” calls for expanding average groundwater recharge by 500,000 acre-feet, accelerating wastewater recycling projects to reuse at least 800,000 acre-feet of water by 2030, constructing the infrastructure required to capture more runoff during storms, and more actively pursuing desalination of ocean water and brackish groundwater.

A loss of 10% of current supplies translates into the loss of 6 to 9 million acre-feet per year of water. To put that into context, California’s largest reservoir, Shasta Lake, holds 4.5 million acre-feet of water when at full capacity.

Click here to read the 16-page plan released by the Governor today. Keep it for reference. Plans change, and the plans contained in this 16-page document will certainly change many times between today and when some of these ideas come to fruition, but it should be crystal clear to everyone by now that California is on the cusp of another era of massive investments in water infrastructure similar to the one that characterized the first 60 years of the 20th Century. It’s not whether these investments are going to go forward; it’s only a matter of precisely when and how. For a water consumptive sector like golf the “how” can spell the difference between success and failure. And there is only one way to affect that “how,” and it’s to get much more engaged in the public policy arena than golf is today. Not as a cheerleader of its irrigation efficiency virtues, nor as a whiner and complainer, but as an initiative-taking and positive participant in contributing to effective investments, policies, and solutions.

Next week’s “Water Summit” in Chino Hills couldn’t have come at a better time. If it is a one-and-done check-the-box exercise, it will have been a waste of time, effort, and money. If it is a first step in coalescing the game around being an “initiative-taking and positive participant” in promoting effective investments, policies, and solutions, it will have been what SCGA, USGA and the other sponsors of the summit had hoped.

Archived Updates

Opposition to Assembly Bill 1910

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CGCOA Golf is Good Ambassador Program

Are you interested in becoming an advocate for golf in California? The CGCOA is seeking amateur golfers who are passionate about protecting the game of golf and promoting public policies that enable golf to flourish in California. Take the next step to becoming an advocate for golf by completing the attached Golf is Good Ambassador Application.

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FORE - Public Affairs

FORE - The magazine of the SCGA. Find archived Public Affairs articles on the website of the SCGA's award winning quarterly publication.

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Charles Dickens’ famous opening of “A Tale of Two Cities” comes to mind as a good descriptor of where California’s water situation and golf’s place in it stands after back-to-back record precipitation years: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...".

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Four Los Angeles City Council members introduced a motion yesterday that seeks to crack down on what the motion describes as “black-market tee time brokers” who book and resell city golf course tee times for profit.

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When introduced by Assembly Member Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) February 16, AB 3192 contained a provision that would have banned the use of all nonorganic pesticides and fertilizers on golf resorts in California’s Coastal Zone.

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A cautionary tale from semi-rural Santa Barbara County to remind you that the pressure to repurpose golf courses is not just a phenomenon in California’s densely packed urban cores.

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The National Golf Course Owners Association’s (NGCOA) Harvey Silverman may have characterized the City of Los Angeles’ uncommonly quick reaction to intense media scrutiny (five separate Los Angeles Times stories including a Sunday lead editorial) of the depredations of tee time brokering with his quip in the organization’s “Golf Business Weekly” about the city having reacted “faster than fixing potholes.”

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Every year there seems to be one bill filed in one house of the California Legislature that keeps the California golf community up at night.

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Here's the difference this last week made, and it’s a difference not just in terms of the alacrity with which we can expect the major municipal golf systems to begin implementing mitigations, but also in terms of what the week means in terms of disabusing all notions of golf somehow being underutilized and golfers not as passionate about the object of their affection as others are about theirs.

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