BC Government Asking for 50% Water Use Reduction from Lower Mainland Golf Course

By WCTA staff

In a letter dated, August 15, 2023, a representative from the BC Ministry of Forests asked a lower mainland golf course (not-wanting-to-be-named), to voluntarily reduce well-water use by 50% of licenced volume.  At least one other course received the same notice.

Emily Elsliger, Assistant Water Manager, BC Ministry of Forests, stated, “You are receiving this letter because this golf course/club has been identified as a potential groundwater (e.g., well water) and/or surface water (e.g., stream) user. Currently, parts of the South Coast Region have been elevated to Drought Level 4 (where the maximum provincial drought level is 5) to the extent that adverse impacts to socio-economic or ecosystem values are likely.”  

The notice goes on to list multiple actions required for different scenarios.  For authorized/licenced groundwater or surface water users, BC MoF is asking for voluntary diversion reductions, storage, or use of non-domestic water by 50% of the licenced volume and limit/restrict lawn, garden and fairway watering to putting greens only.

The Ministerial letter did not outline its decision making process leading up to this request nor did it include any supporting data however it did state, “Provincial water staff are closely monitoring river levels, ecosystems, and weather forecasts."  Communication by the WCTA with other provincial golf associations indicate there have been no consultations with industry on the subject.