PALM DESERT, Calif. -

In order to keep the more than 120 golf courses in the Coachella Valley irrigated and green, 25 percent of the water is pumped out of the Valley's aquifer, a rather big number.  But at the same time, the Coachella Valley Water District believes it's not because golf course operators aren't concerned about water conservation.

"Most golf courses in the Coachella Valley are very conscientious about their water use, and they take a lot of steps to make sure that they're not over watering," said CVWD Communications Director, Heather Engel.

At the city-owned Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert, a state-of-the-art irrigation system is utilized and water isn't needed on the desert landscaping that was designed in the out-of-bounds areas.  In fact, the resort is proud of the fact it puts virtually no strain on the aquifer.

"(We) use almost 90 percent recycled water here at Desert Willow for all 36 holes, and so we're not tapping into the well water that some of the other courses are," said Desert Willow Golf Resort general manager Derek White.    

According to CVWD, Desert Willow is among 41 courses in the Valley that don't rely on ground water, and that over the past decade, with the resources available, golf courses have increased their use of nonpotable water by more than 30 percent.
     
"You know, golf courses want to do their part to reduce water use so golf courses in general are very receptive to taking the alternate supplies," said Engel.  "They want to do their part, they live here too, they want to do their part for the Coachella Valley."

CVWD said it currently has only a limited amount of recycled and imported water to offer to golf courses.  It hopes to be able to increase the supply in the near future.