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Rancho Santa Fe Golf Course Switches To Recycled Water System

The Farms Golf Course in Rancho Santa Fe, April 30, 2015.
The Farms Golf Course in Rancho Santa Fe, April 30, 2015.

With drastic state-mandated water use cutbacks looming, The Farms Golf Club Thursday switched over to a recycled water system to irrigate its greens and fairways, which is expected to save millions of gallons of drinking water.


Until the switch, 96 percent of the 83-acre course was irrigated with potable water, according to the Olivenhein Municipal Water District.

"As California regulators consider mandating specific reductions in potable water use, the timing for this conversion could not have been better," said Kimberly Thorner, district general manager. "OMWD has been committed to reducing our reliance on imported water, and this is yet another step toward fulfilling that goal."

While the club spent about $200,000 on the conversion, it will eventually pay for itself because recycled water is less expensive than drinking water, according to the district .

The State Water Resources Control Board is determining specific cutback levels for water agencies across California because of the continuing drought, in order to meet Gov. Jerry Brown's demand for an overall 25 percent reduction.

The restrictions could be finalized at meetings next Tuesday and Wednesday.


About 12 percent of golf courses nationwide are irrigated with reclaimed water, including some in San Diego County, according to the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

The district delivers water to seven golf courses, and five get recycled water. A sixth course is close to converting, according to the district.