The Arizona course had been using potable water that was more expensive than well water used by Foothills GC, which is also owned by Ahwatukee Golf Properties. But a plan has now been approved to allow Club West to receive the same well water through abandoned pipes previously owned by the city.
The Phoenix (Ariz.) City Council has approved a plan that will allow the owners of Club West Golf Club to access less-expensive water through abandoned reclaimed water pipelines, reports the Ahwatukee Foothills News.
Club West has been using potable water from the city of Phoenix for irrigation of its golf course since 1998, the Foothills News reported. That water has been more expensive than the well water used by the Foothills Golf Club, which is also owned by Ahwatukee Golf Properties (AGP), and its cost has put Club West in danger financially since the downturn of the economy, it was noted.
Now, the city will allow Club West to receive the same well water and transfer it through abandoned water pipes previously owned by the city.
It’s unknown how soon the pipes may be reactivated or if they will even work the way engineers expect them to, but Councilman Sal DiCiccio said he’s excited about the possibility, the Foothills News reported. The agreement will save Ahwatukee Golf Properties a significant amount of money in water costs, keeping Club West viable.
“All these golf courses are having financial problems,” DiCiccio said. “We’ll have given them the opportunity to allow [their properties] to be green and never have to be developed for housing. It has an extra layer of protection with deed restrictions, but now it makes it even more difficult for them to try to develop it. It’s a huge win for that area.”
In the 1970s, Phoenix built the Foothills Water Reclamation Plant to deliver reclaimed water to golf courses being built in the area, the Foothills News reported. As courses were developed, the city entered into agreements to provide water from the plant to the Foothills Golf Course and Club West, which at that time had separate owners.
The water reclamation plant was shuttered in the late 1990s, according to the city of Phoenix, because of high operating costs and inability to produce enough water to meet seasonal needs. The pipelines serving both golf courses were abandoned, and the city entered into an agreement with Club West to provide potable water while Foothills turned to well water.
With Ahwatukee Golf Properties now owning both Club West Golf Course and Foothills, sharing the less-expensive water from the Foothills made sense for the owners. All that was missing was a way to transport it, and the city’s lines will now provide the needed connection.
AGP also owns The Lakes Golf Club, which closed for business in May, the Foothills News reported. AGP is currently watering trees on the course and keeping the lakes filled, but the course is not open to the public. Because of covenants set up when the community was built, the owners of the golf course cannot develop the land without consent from the neighborhood.
DiCiccio said he is working closely with the Save the Lakes organization, a neighborhood group fighting to keep The Lakes as a golf course, and is waiting to hear about the next steps they would like to take.
DiCiccio’s office is also working on conversations with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) to ensure that the wells that feed the Foothills will not be destroyed by construction of the new South Mountain Freeway, the Foothills News reported. ADOT has not been able to provide specifics because they are not in the design phase of that project yet, but DiCiccio said he has been told by ADOT that they do not think it will be a problem to keep the wells.