“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