Rainwater harvesting potential of Crooked Tree Golf Course

Justin Warlick1, Eleonora Demaria1
1Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences

In an attempt to reduce overhead cost of irrigation, the Crooked Tree Golf Course (CTGC) in Tucson, Arizona asked Pima County Regional Flood Control District to investigate their potential to harvest rainwater. CTGC is part of the network of golf courses managed by Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation. This project investigated the hydrologic feasibility of this proposal. Geographical data and special analysis tools from ArcGIS were used to delineate the watershed that contributes to the golf course. It was determined that a watershed of roughly 2308 acres (3.6 square miles) feeds the 495-acre (0.77 square mile) study area. Meter readings for the golf course showed an average annual water consumption of 556 acre-feet per year. Historical rainfall data gathered from the National Weather Service and Pima County ALERT gages were used to estimate annual and seasonal rainfall observed at the golf course. These data showed that the golf course receives a typical monsoon rainfall pattern in southern Arizona: heavy rainfall in the form of short-duration storms in the months of July through September; and another season of frontal precipitation in the winter months of December through February. Empirical equations developed by Pima County, were used to calculate a prediction of average annual runoff of 130 acre-feet, and a predicted average summer-season runoff of 95 acre-feet. Using the predicted annual runoff and the average metered consumption, Crooked Tree Golf Course would still need to source 426 acre-feet of water each year, assuming 100% collection of the predicted runoff.

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