Southern Nevada Water Authority – Golf Courses Step Up to Save Water

In a recent letter sent to the Southern Nevada Golf Association to be shared with the public, the Southern Nevada Water Authority praised the efforts of golf course operators as it pertains to water savings, conservation and leading the way in best practices. Read on for the letter.

Golf industry steps up to save water in Southern Nevada 

Southern Nevada has been in the grip of a 20-year climate change-fueled megadrought that has reduced flows on the Colorado River—the source of 90 percent of our community’s supply. Residents and businesses have stepped up their efforts to conserve water through landscape conversions, following the mandatory seasonal watering restrictions, and preventing and reporting water waste, but there’s more work to be done throughout the community.

One of the leading business sectors that have contributed to this effort and served as an example of how to “do it right” is the local golf industry.

Since the early 2000s, golf courses participating in the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s (SNWA) Water Smart Landscapes Rebate Program (WSL) have converted more than 403 million square feet (936 acres) of thirsty grass to water-efficient, drip-irrigated plants, and trees. This has resulted in savings of more than 2.2 billion gallons of water. In exchange, golf courses have received more than $41 million in cash incentives through WSL, allowing them to reduce maintenance budgets and concentrate their financial resources in other areas.

Adhering to strict water budgets also has contributed to golf’s positive net effect on our community’s water savings. Beginning in January 2024, these water budgets will be reduced from 6.3 acre-feet per irrigated acre to 4 acre-feet per irrigated acre. An acre-foot of water equals about 326,000 gallons. The potential water savings to be realized through this reduction, coupled with ongoing landscape conversions through the WSL program, will add to golf’s reputation in Southern Nevada as a leader in water conservation.

For more information about WSL and other water-saving initiatives and programs, visit

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