Opinion: Are Truckee businesses, golf courses getting a free pass?
This letter raises concerns about water use at the Old Greewood and Gray’s Crossing golf courses. To address any concerns that laws may have been broken, we spoke on Tuesday with Jason DeHerrera, Director of Agronomy for Tahoe Mountain Club, who oversees irrigation at both courses.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s restrictions on water usage due to the drought, as well as the Truckee Donner PUD’s regulations on watering only on Tuesdays and Fridays, are in regards to potable water. The golf courses use recycled non-potable water, however, which comes from an on-site aquifer and is therefore not restricted., DeHerrera said.
Further, he said total irrigation water usage has been reduced by 25 percent at Gray’s Crossing and Old Greenwood since the courses were constructed — in 2007 and 2004, respectively.
Three weekends ago, I visited my 92-year-old mother and watched golf on TV with her, which she enjoys.
It was the tournament up in the State of Washington, and for a “rainy state,” the greens and tees were barely green and the fairways mostly brown.
Then I come home and walked around Gray’s Crossing and Old Greenwood and see nothing but what looks like well-watered, very green grass, even the rough!
Talking with other walkers, we all commented on how we are all on water restrictions, two days a week with TDPUD, yet those two courses seem to water whenever they want and for as long as they want. Some have taken time stamped pictures as proof.
So as our own landscaping at our houses that we have spent dollars and time on dies, these courses for the rich and famous and few who golf get to keep on being nice and soft and green.
Local restaurants are on water restrictions, as well as hotels/motels — what’s with the golf courses that apparently get a walk on restrictions?
Then there is the recent decision to grant Truckee Mayor Alicia Barr and her husband, Andy, an OK to build a brewery on West River Street — I do not know how they got a walk on doing an EIR.
With the potential for questions, and I have heard a lot from locals, you think they would have done an EIR to avoid all potential thoughts of her being mayor and getting a fast track approval.
But the big issue is, look at the Truckee River — it’s virtually dry, we are in a drought and the signs of relief are not there, yet Truckee Town Council approves a business that could consume more water in one day than most locally owned houses will in a month.
How is the TDPUD allowing this to happen, and how come our Town Council did not put this on hold until the water situation improves, dramatically?
For me, it raises more questions that need to be asked of the town and its staff, and the TDPUD. If you are a cash cow for the town, do you get a wink and a nod?