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  • 27 Feb 2022 3:37 PM | John MacKenzie

    “We have a Bill.”  Following over a decade of promoting irrigation assurances in exchange for enhanced efficiency, conservation and drought management planning, both the House and Senate have bills moving to committee and, hopefully, onto the floor for passage.  The MGCSA needs your help to move the Bills into Law.

    The two Bills, SF3116 and HF 3019, have similar language: redefining the (6) sixth priority, irrigating golf courses that implement best management practices as part of a commissioner-approved plan for conserving water and using water efficiently; and creating a (7) seventh priority, nonessential uses.  Furthermore, if the governor declares a water emergency: (b) The restrictions must limit lawn sprinkling, vehicle washing, golf course and park irrigation, and other nonessential uses, and have appropriate penalties for failure to comply 
    with the restrictions.
      Underlined verbiage denotes the change in law and crossed out, eliminates the passage.  Golf courses are currently considered “nonessential” water users.

    Both Bills have been passed to respective Committees, for review.  Your support is critical.  Contact your legislators and advocate on behalf of good legislation.

    It means: if made into Law, the DNR Commissioner must create a format that provides a degree of irrigation water assurances to golf courses that follow and implement DNR guidelines for irrigation efficiency, water conservation and drought management planning in exchange for access to limited irrigation water during times of drought.  It isn’t a mandate and only participating courses will have assurances.  Non-participating courses would fall into the non-essential category and run the risk of having their permit suspended completely, disrupting the courses business model.  Furthermore, the Bill removes golf courses from the restriction list should the governor declare an emergency.

    Now, more than ever, if you want to create a pathway for irrigation water assurances, you need to become an active advocate. 

    Here is a link to the complete proposals

  • 22 Feb 2022 6:30 AM | John MacKenzie

    By Zoë Jackson Star Tribune


    FEBRUARY 21, 2022 — 3:33PM

    The Tommies are in search of a site for an ice hockey facility befitting their Division I classification. 

    The University of St. Thomas is eyeing Town & Country Club golf course land for a possible $61.4 million athletics expansion.

    St. Thomas hopes to grow its athletics footprint following a D-I athletics reclassification and as the university starts to envision the next 100 years, said athletics director Phil Esten.

    "Our first facility that we're looking at is an ice hockey facility, so that we can compete at the Division 1 level, recruit at the divisional level and provide our fans and our student athletes with the amenities and the experiences that are aligned with it," Esten said.

    Softball and baseball sites also are early possibilities. The university hopes to stay in St. Paul, Esten said.

    The Tommies now play in the 1,000-seat St. Thomas Ice Arena. Baseball and softball facilities are wedged on campus.

    The first round of golf in Minnesota was played at Town & Country, the oldest country club in the state, according to its website. The club is less than a mile from the St. Thomas campus.

    "In the interest of it being extremely proximate and for a lot of different reasons a pretty interesting site … so we thought that we'd enter into a conversation just to see if there was any interest," Esten said. He noted, "You don't know until you ask."

    Matt Winkle, director of the club's board, said that "Town & Country Club's board of directors is carefully reviewing the proposal from the University of St. Thomas. The club's property was not made available for sale, and the proposal was unsolicited."

    The size of the land allows for possible enhancements of other parts of campus in addition to athletics.

    St. Thomas also is looking at the Highland Bridge site, the former Ford plant location, which is a mile and half from campus.

  • 22 Feb 2022 6:16 AM | John MacKenzie

    By  Greg Stanley and Jennifer Bjorhus Star Tribune

    FEBRUARY 19, 2022 — 2:00PM

    State regulators say court order would require them to limit people to 55 gallons of water per day, and cut off other water users such as schools and businesses altogether.  

    Minnesota regulators say that keeping White Bear Lake at the court-ordered water level would require such draconian restrictions they'd have to cancel all water use by schools, hospitals and businesses in a 5-mile radius.

    Tens of thousands of residents in at least 10 east metro communities would be restricted to 55 gallons of water per person per day — a prospect that one city official called "absolutely absurd."

    That's a far cry from the 90-gallon restrictions ordered by Judge Margaret Marrinan in 2017 to keep the lake at 922 feet above sea level. Marrinan ruled that the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) had mismanaged the lake for decades, allowing its waters to be drained.

    The DNR issued the warnings in documents it filed last week in Ramsey County District Court as part of the long-running legal fight over the management of the underground aquifer that fills White Bear Lake and supplies local drinking water. The dispute pits lake-front residents, environmentalists and beachgoers against communities that draw water from beneath the lake and that oppose against any lawn watering or per-capita use restrictions.

    The documents filed included a report by DNR hydrologist Glen Champion in which he concluded that the court-ordered per-capita restrictions and bans on residential irrigation would not be enough.

    "Far more aggressive water use reduction strategies will be required," Champion wrote.

    Katie Crosby Lehmann, a lawyer who represents the White Bear Lake Restoration Association in its fight against the DNR, cautioned that the agency's latest analysis has not been reviewed by outside experts. She said it relies on at least some information that was already rejected in court, such as the agency's views on any effects of evaporation and residential irrigation on lake levels.

    "They're saying that the sky is falling and I worry that it could be used to justify no action by the DNR, which would put us in a terrible place," Crosby Lehmann said. "We just don't know the credibility or the reliability of this model."

    The DNR does seem, at least, to be finally recognizing the severity of the problems around the lake, she said.

    The DNR said it's awaiting a response from Marrinan, who came out of retirement to oversee the case. The litigation has already reached the state Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the disclosures touched off a storm of concern as stakeholders await a hearing date.

    "It will be an interesting hearing," said White Bear Township lawyer Chad Lemmons. "I think the DNR also realizes this can't work."

    Lemmons called the restrictions "untenable." He said there's a sense of disbelief among communities.

    In an interview, Katie Smith, the DNR's director of the Ecological and Water Resources division, said the agency is just trying to follow the law. It's concerned about the impacts on people, she said.

    "The DNR must follow this path of changing the permits unless there is some clear-funded plan for other alternatives," she said. Switching to different water sources is one of several possibilities, she said.

    The DNR hasn't started changing water permits or cutting off users, Smith said. It first wanted to alert the court to the dire situation, she said. Smith characterized 55 gallons of water a day per person a "reasonable" amount although it could hamper lawn watering, depending on how the household uses water.

    The conflict stems from 2013, when White Bear Lake homeowners and other lake advocates first sued the DNR. Back then the lake hovered at historically low levels and its shoreline dried up. The shrunken lake rebounded after several years of unusually high rainfall, but started creeping down again with last year's drought.

    The long-running dispute could potentially be solved if cities pulled their water from the Mississippi River, as Minneapolis and St. Paul do, rather than tapping groundwater. But the Legislature hasn't been willing to pay for a new regional system, which the Metropolitan Council estimated in 2014could cost between $150 million and $620 million.

    Lake Elmo Administrator Kristina Handt called the DNR analysis on what it would take to meet the withdrawal limit "absolutely absurd."

    "Water won't be allocated for our schools, hospitals, businesses and nonprofits, thereby harming the public health and welfare of our communities and killing economic development — all so that folks can visit the Ramsey County beach and lakefront owners don't have to be bothered to put extensions on their docks in drought years," Handt told the Star Tribune via e-mail. "The Legislature must act to correct this egregious ruling in order to save not only the vitality of the east metro but our very livelihoods."

    The situation has prompted a flurry of legislative activity, said Sen. Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, whose district includes White Bear Lake. Wiger said he supports the city's position "that we need to have some flexibilities to address reality."

    Lake Elmo's Handt said she supports a Senate proposal by Sens. Karin Housley, R-Stillwater, and Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes. The bill, SF 3055, would carve out an exemption to the law that prohibits public waters from being drained. If enacted, the municipalities within a 5-mile radius of White Bear Lake would still be able to get water permits, so long as they comply with a DNR-approved water plan .

    The threat of losing water to hospitals, stores and other industries shows why the city of White Bear Lake first challenged the court order, and why it is now calling on lawmakers to help, said White Bear Lake City Manager Lindy Crawford.

    "Our communities need a better plan than the District Court's order," she said.

    Link to Star Trib Story here

  • 01 Feb 2022 7:40 AM | John MacKenzie

    By Carmelita Nelson, Water Conservation Specialist, Minnesota DNR

    Over the summer of 2021, stream flows dropped below minimum protective flow levels throughout much of the state, resulting in hundreds of temporary permit suspensions. Actions were also taken to protect groundwater levels and municipal water supplies in several areas of the state with limited aquifers. These suspensions impacted golf course operations and many others, highlighting the need for water use efficiency and contingency plans.

    As required by the State Drought Plan, all public water suppliers in the impacted watersheds were asked to implement water use reduction actions with a goal of reducing water use to 25%-75% above January levels depending on the severity of the drought in their watershed. Cities serving over 1,000 people were required to implement demand reduction measures from their Water Supply Plans. The DNR has started the process of updating our statewide drought plan that will focus on preparedness of Minnesota communities and businesses and planning for resilience as our climate changes and water needs evolve.


    A free resource that can provide guidance and track progress is the new Water Conservation Reporting system. Minnesota is the first state in the nation to measure water conservation on a statewide basis. The statewide Water Conservation Reporting system, is a tool available for DNR permitted golf course operators, to showcase their best practices and measures their conservation progress.

    From mid-October through March 30, golf course irrigators can report their water efficiency measures they are implementing. This web-based Water Conservation Reporting System complements the water use reporting system.

    The goal in gathering this data is to measure water conservation actions, track success and encourage efficiency.  Ensuring sustainable use of waters, reducing losses and waste of water is everybody’s responsibility. The data will be aggregated, summarized and used in various legislative reports, conference presentations and other outreach with partners.

    Golf courses will continue to report their monthly water use totals to the DNR through the existing Minnesota Permitting and Reporting System (MPARS) and pay the annual water use fee. Once this is completed, there will be a link taking water users to the Water Conservation Reporting system.

    For additional information please see the DNR water conservation reporting system webpage  or contact Carmelita Nelson, DNR water conservation specialist, at 651-259-5034 or carmelita.nelson@state.mn.us.

    While water is not unlimited, Minnesota is taking action to ensure we manage it sustainably. Continued vigilance and coordination with Minnesotan’s and water users is essential.

  • 15 Nov 2021 1:34 PM | John MacKenzie

    The conventioneers organizing the NG are looking for volunteers to serve as room captains for the MGCSA sponsored sessions at 2022 Northern Green.  

    Room captains make the Northern Green appear professional and ensure that things run smoothly for the speakers and sessions.  The deadline to sign up is November 15, 2021. 

    It is very easy to do.  The NG is using SignUpGenius for Room Captain sign up again this year.  Below is the link to the MGCSA sponsored sessions at Northern Green. 

    All volunteers will need to do is provide their name, organization, and e-mail address. They will choose the session(s) they would like to volunteer for, and then hit the submit button.  They will receive an automatic email confirmation immediately from SignUpGenius. We will then send an e-mail reminder with all the details to each volunteer in late December.

    MGCSA Sessions - Northern Green Room Captain Sign Up:  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E0E48A5A729A2FD0-northern3


  • 27 Oct 2021 11:58 AM | John MacKenzie

    Duininck Golf teams up with Tyler Rae, Golf Architect on Donald Ross course at Northmoor Country Club

    (CHICAGO, Illinois) – Northmoor Country Club – Chicago’s portfolio of prestigious private clubs designed by legendary architects includes the 27-hole Donald Ross designed Northmoor Country Club, where Duininck Golf and Tyler Rae Golf Design are joining forces to remodel the White Nine.

    Northmoor’s primary project goals are to solve drainage issues and raise the elevations of portions of the White Nine course, especially in the flood-prone areas. Rae’s plan to address these issues require strategic realignments of several playing corridors, leading to a completely revamped routing of the White Nine. “We really get to highlight some of the (previously hidden) ridges and rolls of the land,” Tyler says. “We’ll shine a new light on the White Nine that will elevate it’s caliber to the level of the Blue and Red courses.”

    Tyler Rae brings an energy and “hands on” efficiency to his work, something Duininck Project Manager Paul Deis greatly appreciates. “Tyler is fun to work with and always incorporates a unique artistry in his design that leaves his clients with visually appealing and strategically enhanced golf holes. We, like Tyler, care about our clients and want to make sure they get what they want on every level.” To that point, Tyler will be personally shaping the greens on the White Course, something Northmoor’s Project Coordinator, Brian Chasensky says was key to his hiring. “His greens and the new water features will give us a completely new, challenging, fun and fair golf course that lives up to the expectations of the club.”

    “We’ve worked together extensively over the years,” Tyler says, “and that relationship paired with Duininck’s expertise and professionalism always produces a final product I am proud of.” Northmoor’s ownership has been greatly impressed with the collaborative chemistry, something Brian felt merited specific mention. “From day one it seemed like we had all been working together for months. Everyone and I at Northmoor are thrilled to have such talented and organized professionals here for this project.”

    Northmoor’s membership will soon benefit from these complementary partnerships, receiving a course that not only resolves major issues, but is creatively enhanced to elevate the visual appeal, strategy, and maintainability of the White nine. “The course will play like its brand new, but look like it’s been here for 100 years,” says Brian. “Which is exactly what we want.”

    Media Contact                                                                                                Sam Duininck 

    404-895-6716                                                                                             sam.duininck@duininck.com

  • 05 Oct 2021 12:29 PM | John MacKenzie

    By Sam Duininck, Duininck Golf

    (BRAINARD, Minnesota) – Cragun’s Resort on Gull Lake – Duininck Golf continues 45-hole renovation at Cragun’s Resort, that will take, Minnesota Resort Golf to the next level.

    General Manager of Cragun’s Resort, Eric Peterson, says, “We didn’t take these decisions lightly—to undertake such a major project and, especially, to put it in the hands of PGA legend Tom Lehman and acclaimed builder Duininck Golf. Thankfully, we’re getting exactly what we hoped for … and more.”

    Cragun’s Resort, long recognized as one of the premier golf destination resorts in northern Minnesota with two award-winning, eighteen-hole championship courses—Bobby’s Legacy Course and Dutch Legacy Course—both designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. is getting a major overhaul. Lehman Design and Duininck Golf were brought in to modify the two championship courses. “Bigger and Better,” Eric Peterson says, summing up the goal, then expanding on it, “We aspire to have 45 holes of World Class Golf—The Dutch 27 and the Lehman 18, and to be considered the preeminent golf resort in Minnesota. No doubt we will achieve this goal.”

    Duininck Golf welcomes the lofty expectations. Chris Kleinsmith, Duininck Golf’s Project Manager states, “A project of this size with so many components and such an aggressive schedule requires all parties to be on the same page in construction and communication. The opportunity to build “new” golf is always welcomed.”

    Tom Lehman’s new 18—a course Eric Peterson promises will be “like nothing else in Minnesota”— “Tom is an accomplished player, with a gift for visualizing what each hole can be long before it is built. It is always very exciting to work with a designer that started out as a tour player”, says Chris Kleinsmith. Project Superintendent, Jacob Cooper, agrees, “It’s always fun to see what architects see, and to listen to them talk their way through their visions.”

    36 holes of new golf will be open by August of 2022—including the new Lehman 18—and the final 9 holes of the Dutch 27 to open in the summer of 2023.

  • 05 Oct 2021 12:27 PM | John MacKenzie

    By John Reitman and published in TurfNet

    Customer service, continuing education, staying up to date with current practices and methods, a strong code of ethics and displaying a passion for science. Those are just a handful of the traits that have helped John Steiner, CGCS, accomplish what few in this business have - on-the-job security at the same location for parts of seven decades.

    Steiner, 69, has worked at White Bear Golf Course in Dellwood, Minnesota every year but once since 1967, including as a caddie, member of the crew, assistant superintendent and finally as head superintendent for the past 42 years. The only interruption in his service at White Bear came when he spent the summer of 1969 working for his uncle Jimmy Hines on the crew at the former Desert Air Golf Course in Palm Desert, California.

    "I've just always tried to give golfers what they want, and that is the best possible product that I can produce. I try to be receptive to the things they want," Steiner said. "I've also always tried to be trustworthy. That has gone a long way. I've always had a good rapport with a lot of the members. When you love what you do, it's pretty easy."

    Steiner recently was the recipient of the Minnesota GCSA Chapter's Distinguished Service Award. 

    During Steiner's 54 years at White Bear, a 1915 Donald Ross design, much has changed in the turf business, namely the ever-changing demands of golfers, the problems that arise as mowing heights go down and the equipment and products they use to manage the turf.

    "It has become a lot harder as the years go on," Steiner said. "And it seems to keep getting harder as golfer demands go up."

    In the 1970s, Steiner was mowing roughs with a five-gang unit and fairways with a seven-gang Toro Parkmaster.

    "The changes in equipment and irrigation have been the biggest changes," Steiner said. "I've seen a lot of change over the years."

    Being a successful superintendent . . . for more than 40 years . . . at the same place . . . requires relying on science. In Steiner's case, it means much more.

    Steiner keeps up with current technology and management practices through continuing education, networking, seminars and even trusted sales reps.

    When faced with an unknown disease that threatens to wipe out wide areas of turf, most golf course superintendents are pretty content to carve out a sample and send it off to an expert for analysis.

    The key word is "most."

    Since Steiner graduated from Minnesota in 1976 and became superintendent at White Bear in 1979, he has spent a significant amount of time peering at slides through a microscope, attempting to diagnose one of those diseases that nag at greenkeepers.

    "I did it simply because I wanted to," Steiner said. "I wanted to be good at it, and I didn't want to be dependent on someone else for the information."

    To many of his colleagues, he is known as Dr. Steiner.

    Many of those same colleagues have used him as their turfgrass pathologist - helping to diagnose diseases on the golf course.

    "I've chatted with a number of people about things over the years," Steiner said. "There are people who called and bring things over, turf samples with disease on them."

    He places the samples in a plastic bag to hold in moisture then stores them overnight in the service bay at the golf course to keep them out of air-conditioning. He usually has plenty of material for the microscope by the following day.

    "I think one of the most outstanding attributes that makes John deserving of this (MGCSA Distinguished Service) award is the respect he has among his peers," former White Bear Yacht Club general manager Linda Carroll said recently in Hole Notes, the publication of the MGCSA. 

    Steiner credits Carroll and current White Bear GM Chris Nathlich for supporting him throughout his career and late University of Minnesota turfgrass science professor Don White, Ph.D., for mentoring him early in his career and helping grow his love for science. 

    Although looking at living organisms that attack and kill turf might seem like work, it is a labor of love for Steiner.

    "The thing with pathology is I just always loved it. I studied forestry pathology and plant pathology, and I love looking through a microscope at disease," Steiner said. "I've learned a lot about mushrooms, and mycology is a major passion of mine. Fungi and bacteria are the causes of most plant diseases. I've spent a lot of time grabbing everything I could find and looking at it through a microscope."

  • 11 Aug 2021 8:42 AM | John MacKenzie

    (SANDIA PARK, New Mexico.) – Paako Ridge Golf Club – Duininck Golf completes second phase tee renovations in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains.

    It is not every day a Top 50 public resort facility in the country, and #1 ranked in the state, opts to undergo a major renovation, but there’s no “leaving well enough alone” when the stated goal at Paako Ridge Golf Club is to always be improving. Ownership’s commitment to excellence and Duininck Golf’s construction expertise created the perfect bridge of opportunity for the two entities to team up.

    “There’s been an increase in golf renovation projects the past couple years,” Division Manager, Judd Duininck acknowledges. “We’re thrilled to be heavily involved nationwide and are excited to be working on such a prestigious property in New Mexico.”

    Paako Ridge sits just a few miles east of Albuquerque, NM in the shadows of the Sandia Mountains. With over 300 days of sunshine and only 14 days of rain, the setting could not be more ideal for the most avid of golfers. With a detailed focus on modifying and modernizing the tee complexes, plus enhancements to the irrigation system and surrounding native areas, General Manager Bill Delayo says, “This is merely the first step in our overall master plan to further elevate Paako Ridge Golf Club as one of North America’s best properties.”

    Director of Marketing & Communications at Paako Ridge, Tyler Kirsch, says, “With the course sitting at an elevation of 6,500 feet, on mountain terrain, the logistical challenges of an operation like this are plentiful, but we’ve been very pleased with the entire (Duininck) team’s operation, professionalism and ability to deliver on promises.”

    20 years after Ken Dye’s impressive design opened, Paako Ridge brought Jon Schmenk of Norby Golf Design and the nationally certified builder Duininck Golf in to begin the renovations. Jon Schmenk explains. “Though consistently recognized as the best golf course in New Mexico, the infrastructure had begun to deteriorate. We’re renovating each nine in its own phase with specific focus on the tee boxes; including adding a new forward set of tees, reducing regularly irrigated turf, and increasing overall playability, while always protecting the native environment.”

    Former PGA Tour Player and Paako Ridge’s “Minister of Fun,” Kelly Gibson is excited this project is so broad in scope but so focused on playability enhancement. “These renovations give additional play opportunities to players of all ages and skill levels. I’ve worked with Duininck Golf on several projects, and they get the job done. It’s that simple.” Work is in full swing, but everyone is already eager to experience the final results.

  • 30 Jul 2021 11:53 AM | John MacKenzie

    Drought, Surface Water Permit Suspensions, and Groundwater

    • By Carmelita Nelson and Dan Miller – DNR Ecological and Water Resources

      Drought is a naturally occurring aspect of Minnesota’s climate. Droughts affect agriculture, water resources, power supply, tourism and recreation, forestry, fisheries and wildlife, wildfire, human health and many other factors. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is working with all water users to protect our surface and groundwater resources while trying to minimize economic impacts. Because we do not know how long this drought will last, it is imperative to conserve and use water efficiently.

      Depending on your water source, there are three ways that drought can impact golf course water supplies:

    • ·       Groundwater: There has been no discussion of groundwater suspension for any water use. The   main exception is well interference investigations.
    • ·       Surface water:  water appropriation suspensions are occurring on a watershed by watershed basis.
    • ·      City Water: Those golf courses connected to city water will need to comply with individual municipal requirements.

    • Procedures and plans are in place for dealing with drought

      Legislation enacted in 1990 mandated the DNR to prepare a drought plan. This plan provides a framework for responding to droughts, to minimize conflicts and negative impacts on Minnesota's natural resources and economy.

      The DNR and partner agencies have extensive climate and water monitoring networks. Each week, the State Climatology Office within the DNR works closely with the authors of the United States Drought Monitor Map at www.droughtmonitor.unl.edu to ensure that drought conditions in Minnesota are depicted accurately. The map is updated each Thursday. These data, plus the State Drought Plan and existing laws, guide actions during a drought. 

      Drought impacts on surface water are more visible than impacts on groundwater. One of the reasons we are seeing reduced stream flow is because it has been dry since last summer, and especially dry since early March of this year. That means any rainfall we get will replenish soil moisture before it can contribute to stream flow in many areas of the state.

      Surface Water Suspensions

      During a drought, surface water rules are quite different from groundwater rules. If flow reaches a critical level in a river or stream, the DNR must suspend surface water appropriations from that lake, stream or river. We do this to protect fish and wildlife habitat within the stream and to maintain water availability for other users downstream.

      This summer, we’ve suspended a number of different surface water appropriation permit types including:  agricultural crop irrigation, golf course irrigation, landscape and athletic field irrigation, wild rice irrigation, sod farm irrigation, cemetery irrigation, nursery irrigation, mine processing, construction-related activities, pipeline and tank testing, dust control, and sand and gravel washing.

      A total of 15 golf course surface water permit suspensions have been issued out of a total of 143 surface water permit suspensions across 16 watersheds. Below are the number of golf courses and the watershed location where surface water permit suspensions have occurred through July 28, 2021: 

    • ·       St. Louis River and Cloquet River watersheds: 6
    • ·       Crow Wing River watershed: 1
    • ·       Mustinka River watershed: 1
    • ·       Mississippi River – Grand Rapids watershed: 4
    • ·       Mississippi River – Brainerd watershed: 1
    • ·       Sand Hill River watershed: 1
    • ·       Big Fork River watershed: 1

    • Some permit holders have a contingency water supply, such as a well, to use while their surface water appropriation is suspended. Many other permit holders do not have an alternate source of water available. If you are considering applying for a permit to use water from a surface water, it is important to consider what you would use during a drought.

      You can keep track of stream flows near your golf course by going to the DNR Weekly Stream Flow Map: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/surfacewater_section/stream_hydro/streamflow_weekly.html

    • 1.     If your golf course is in an area in red, then DNR either suspended or is reviewing permits for the potential of a suspension due to low water levels and flows.
    • 2.     If your golf course is in an orange area, and there is little or no rain, it may turn red in the future and you should be considering what source of water you will use if your surface water source is suspended.
    • 3.     If the area where your course is located is green, then flows are currently normal, but you should be prepared for changes.
    • 4.     The maps are updated weekly and posted on Mondays.

    The DNR will continue to monitor water levels and flows across the state and keep you informed of any potential changes to surface water appropriation permits. If you have questions about a surface water appropriation permit, please contact your local DNR area hydrologist. You can find a list of staff and the territory they cover at the following website: https://files.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/area_hydros.pdf.

    Sharing the Groundwater

    Groundwater use permits for golf course irrigation are generally not suspended, with two main exceptions. If there is a technical groundwater analysis and report characterizing the impact groundwater pumping has on a nearby surface water, then the permit may be suspended. There is only one golf course where this has occurred.

    Additionally, your groundwater appropriation could be suspended if the DNR receives out-of-water complaints from neighboring homeowners who file a Well Interference Complaint. In 2021, DNR staff are seeing an increase in domestic out-of-water calls, in Polk, Grant, Kandiyohi, Pope and Marshall Counties. All 12 of these investigations have involved agricultural irrigation.

    The DNR has been helping to resolve well interference complaints for more than 45 years. This saves everyone the burden of legal costs and time spent in court. The DNR’s well interference reports are thorough and science-based. While all efforts are made to avoid suspending groundwater permits during the growing season, state law mandates that drinking water is available as the highest priority for water use. It is possible that irrigation may have to stop temporarily, if a domestic water supply is interrupted.

    During this summer of drought, all irrigators (including agricultural, cemetery, nursery and landscape and athletic field irrigators) are encouraged to maintain their systems to the highest efficiency, minimize irrigation to the extent possible, and cooperate with neighboring water users and homeowners. To learn more, sign up to receive GovDelivery drought email updates from the DNR at: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/climate/drought/index.html.



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