Sunday, 1 August 2010

Using Water Wisely

Rainfall levels throughout 2010 have been very low with just 92 mm of rain falling between the start of April and the end of July – half of that total fell over two days in late May/early June! In the same period in 2009 we had 165mm of rain and in 2008 we saw 188 mm. As a result we have called upon the irrigation system more this year than at any time since it was installed in 2007/8. I am pleased to report that the system has up to now performed superbly in these trying times consistently delivering half a million litres of water in a 9 hour window throughout the night. The turf has thrived in the sun during the day having been properly irrigated during the night. Without the new system we would undoubtedly have experienced widespread turf thinning, walkways from tees to fairways would be dust and greens would likely have the mottled effect of localised dry patch. Unfortunately, due to the island wide demands being put on the ground water supplies, our borehole output is reducing. Of our six boreholes, two have run dry completely and three are working at a reduced level. We can now apply water to the course much quicker than we can draw it from the ground. The 1 million gallon reservoir would run dry in two to three weeks if we do not adjust our watering strategy. Irrigating of nursery areas will cease while fairways will be given only infrequent applications of water. This policy ensures greens, tees and surrounds are given priority and water supplies will last through the summer even if we get no more rain until October. Fairways can be expected to brown off in colour but we hope to be able to provide enough water to keep the turf healthy, if not green.