Dairy Creek Golf Course is low on water, but SLO County says let it go brown

Dairy Creek Golf Course is low on water, but SLO County says let it go brown.
“It is hard for me to justify taking water for drinking and using it for pleasure when people have wells that go dry,” said Supervisor Lynn Compton, who voted alongside supervisors Bruce Gibson and Adam Hill against using potable water to supplement irrigation at the 20-year-old course in El Chorro Regional Park.
The golf course is operating with limited water and isn’t due additional deliveries until Dec. 1.
Parks and Recreation Director Nick Franco said for now he will continue to water all 18 holes, at a limited capacity, as he attempts to negotiate with the state to gain access to water that is currently promised to the California Men’s Colony, a state prison.
Existing facilities include a dog park, trails, a botanical garden, campground and ball fields, in addition to the golf course.
It includes potential added activities, such as a mountain bike skills course and disc golf area.
Faced with a decreasing water supply and steadily declining revenues, the board hired a consultant to develop a long-term plan for the park that would help pay off the bond debt for the golf course, which remains around $5 million.
Supervisors Debbie Arnold and John Peschong both voted to use potable water from either Cal Poly or Whale Rock at costs that ranged between $1,000 and $2,000 per acre-foot, arguing that the course will generate more revenue with an irrigated 18 holes.
If the parks director is able to negotiate additional water from the state from a nearby well, he will take the decision to the board to make a final decision about how much of the course will go brown this year.
Monica Vaughan: 805-781-7930, @MonicaLVaughan Declining business at Dairy Creek At Dairy Creek Golf Course’s high point, there were 62,000 rounds of golf played in one year.

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