Borrego Sun - Since 1949

The Rams Hill Golf Club

 

Last updated 5/20/2016 at 8:52am



An environmentally conscious golf course and a good neighbor.

In reference to Donald Shelley’s recent letter to the editor, I would like to add some specifics on what Rams Hill has done and will do to save water and increase the aquifer recharge. Rams Hill would not be prospering without Lyle Brecht, a Borrego Water District board member. It was his leadership and the help of the entire BWD board that enabled the restoration of a community and a golf course that reduced its non-potable water usage by over 130 million gallons per year.

Rams Hill purchased and fallowed citrus farms that will annually save another 260 million gallons of potable water, and recent reports show that the water in the nearby farm wells has been rising as a result of fallowing. Rams Hill has saved more than 390 million potable gallons annually and is using only non-potable water for irrigation. To accomplish some of this water reduction, Rams Hill has eliminated non-native landscaping, and removed turf. It also has invested in six nonpotable wells, a state of the art irrigation system and a fertigation system that saves water with wetting agents. Solving our water problems also requires increasing recharge.

Tom Fazio wisely designed Rams Hill with numerous golf course bioretention basins that collect rainfall that flows onto the course from the surrounding hills and residential areas. The water then percolates into the soil and recharges the aquifer. Since Rams Hill is on a hillside next to the immense Anza-Borrego State Park, it may be able to “farm water,” and it might be able to put more water in the aquifer than it takes out.

Currently the summer storm water runs off into the desert where it evaporates because it can’t penetrate the thick layers of alluvial sands and clays. The idea is to collect storm water by building numerous settling ponds higher in the more porous upper rocky ravines. Rams Hill is also studying the feasibility of building bio-retention basins that would be fed by the miles of concrete drainage ditches built by Di Giorgio to protect Rams Hill from flash floods. Its new 3.5 acre Solar farm produces all the power required to run the clubhouse, irrigation system, and six wells.

Rams Hill will be building houses that will use a fraction of the water and energy required by existing homes. The new homes will feature Solar energy, exterior walls with twelve inch concrete foam construction that provides super RU-52 insulation, remote controlled thermostats, Nexus eWater systems that filter and reuse water, and draught resistant landscaping irrigated with non-potable water. For these reasons and many more, Rams Hill has earned the reputation for being a good neighbor, and one of the best and most environmentally conscious golf courses in the country.

Bill BERKLEY

Rams Hill, Borrego Springs

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