SoCal’s Lush Golf Courses Face New Water Restrictions. How Brown Will the Grass Go?

To some residents of Southern California, the golf course is a detested symbol of social privilege and water profligacy — a lush playground for the wealthy that can drink more than 100 million gallons a year, even as neighboring lawns shrivel and brown.

“Why are golf courses still a thing?” East Hollywood resident Spence Nicholson said recently. The 38-year-old called them little more than a “massive waste” of resources.

Marin District Weighs Permanent Water Use Restrictions

Some drought restrictions imposed on most Marin residents last year could become permanent, while others could be repealed in the coming weeks.

On Friday, the Marin Municipal Water District proposed keeping a two-day-per-week sprinkler irrigation limit in place for good but also rescinding some prohibitions to allow residents to wash their cars at home or refill their pools.

The debate on which rules to keep comes after the district and its 191,000 residents nearly faced depleted local reservoir supplies after two dry winters. But heavy downpours in late 2021 saved the county from the emergency by nearly refilling the district’s seven reservoirs.

Opinion: Up to 1 Million Gallons of Water … a Night? That’s Par for Some Desert Golf Courses

Doug Thompson couldn’t believe what he’d just been told. His wife, a botanist, was advising a Coachella Valley country club on drought-resistant landscaping, and Thompson, who got to talking with the groundskeeper, asked how much water it takes to irrigate a golf course.