The popular public course in San Jose, Calif. could have its water supply cut off by the local water district.
Cinnabar Hills Golf Club, a popular public course 20 miles south of downtown San Jose, Calif., could have the water supply that it depends on for irrigation cut off by the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD), reported KNTV 11, NBC’s San Jose affiliate, because the state’s drought is causing levels of drinking water to fall dangerously low. Several other south Bay Area businesses have already been cut off, KNTV reported.
Cinnabar Hills’ location makes it a popular destination for urban golfers, but the distance between it and the city make surface water from the SCVWD its only option.
The report noted that Cinnabar Hills has done everything the water district has asked in its attempts to conserve water. Brown patches are visible on nearly all 27 holes, but the water district says Cinnabar Hills is still using too much—about 50 acre feet of water a month, compared with two families of five using one acre foot a year.
“We do not have an alternative supply other than the surface water that the Santa Clara Valley Water County District supplies us,” said the course’s manager, Ron Zriack. “That’s why we’re working so closely with them.”
The water district has cut off almost all other surface-water users to protect its drinking water supply. Unlike other customers, Cinnabar Hills can’t dig a well because there is no groundwater underneath, and it’s far from any existing pipeline.
But, according to the report, one alternative does actually exist. Though extremely expensive, it is possible the course could be linked to the recycled water system.
“As of right now, the recycled water is about 5 1/2 miles from here,” Zraick said. “But we’ve had some very, very preliminary conversations with the water district about bringing that water to Cinnabar Hills. And certainly if we can do that, that’s the future.”
Water District Spokesman Marty Grimes said if the course agreed to a cost-sharing agreement, that may give the SCVWD the incentive to invest in a pipeline that would take recycled water to the course.
Some San Jose city leaders said they hope the golf course can benefit from some of their emergency water measures, and added that they plan to meet with the water district to see if they can manage to find an option, KNTV reported.
The water district has not yet set a cutoff date for the course, it was reported.