The Santa Barbara, Calif., club is investing in sod that would further reduce water consumption, while using recycled water from the El Estero Wastewater Treatment Plant. On track to open in 2017, the new irrigation system will control each individual sprinkler, while the total irrigated turf will scale back from 95 to 60 acres.
Turfgrass installation on the newly renovated Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at Montecito Country Club in Santa Barbara, Calif., has begun.
Originally, the plans called for seeding and grass sprigs to be installed; instead, more dollars will be invested to purchase sod in order to further reduce water consumption. Water for the golf course is recycled water received from the El Estero Wastewater Treatment Plant in Santa Barbara.
“The Montecito Country Club has been a significant recycled water customer since 1990,” said Joshua Haggmark, City of Santa Barbara Water Resources Manager. “They are one of the largest recycled water users in the city. As such, I appreciate their commitment to design the newly renovated club around continued and expanded use of recycled water for the golf course and ornamental landscaping.”
During the approval process, Montecito CC worked with golf course designer Jack Nicklaus, agronomists, engineers, environmental consultants and the City of Santa Barbara to develop water saving strategies while designing a golf course that continues to enhance the surrounding environment and minimize the use of Santa Barbara’s local water resources.
On track to open in 2017, the new state of the art irrigation system allows precise control of every individual sprinkler from a computer system that is connected to a local weather station to match precipitation rates and monitor irrigation practices. By voluntarily reducing the total irrigated turf acreage from about 95 acres to 60 acres and sand capping the entire golf course, the club is better equipped to manage drainage and provide consistent moisture management across the entire course which greatly improves water-use efficiency.
A drought-tolerant variety of warm season turfgrass is being installed which uses 40% less water than a common cool season turfgrass found on most golf courses. The club also dedicated 45 acres to predominantly drought tolerant native grasslands and plants such as Toyon, Buckwheat and Salvia.
All potable landscape irrigation around the clubhouse has been eliminated and has been replaced by drip irrigation using recycled water. Subsurface Soil Monitoring Sensors have been installed to measure soil moisture levels and improve and assist in water management decisions.
“From the beginning our goal has been to significantly improve the Club’s efforts to conserve water and help the environment,” said Ty Warner Hotels and Resorts project development manager Bill Medel. “This project is an example of [the] team collaborating with the city to come up with beneficial solutions for the community using advanced technology and strategic planning to reduce water consumption dramatically on this property.”
Upon reopening, Montecito CC will continue to irrigate the new golf course with recycled water from the city.