June 2, 2009

RE: Seasonal Demand Management Plan for Permitted Golf Courses

Dear Golf Course Manager:

Consistent with good water conservation practices, permitted golf courses will be required to implement a drought triggered Seasonal Demand Management Plan (SDMP) as a condition of their Water Management Permit. The SDMP, at a minimum, restricts nonessential outdoor water use between May 1st and September 30th when the Massachusetts Drought Management Task Force declares a drought level of "Advisory" or higher ("Watch, Warning or Emergency") for the region in which the golf course is located. Further reductions beyond the minimum required by this plan are also encouraged.

The SDMP is intended to address the necessary minimums of acceptable demand management required as dry conditions begin to impact our environment from May through September.

To assist golf course managers, the Department developed the SDMP form to facilitate the requirement of the SDMP, assess your implementation with a list of Golf Course Best Management Practices, and evaluate your ability to implement a SDMP.

Of particular importance in developing your SDMP and in evaluating its effect on your golf course's irrigation, is the recognition of nonessential outside water uses. The Department considers the irrigation of tees and greens as essential uses, but fairways and roughs less so. Your plan should describe with sufficient detail how you will increasingly reduce the irrigated acres of fairways and roughs, and cease the irrigation of landscaping and ornamentals as drought conditions worsen.

Section C of the SDMP provides three options for water use reduction. Two options for water use reduction are in table format with the third option being an open-ended alternative approach. The Acres Table requires that you identify the number of acres you irrigate for tees and greens, fairways, roughs, landscaping and ornamentals, along with a percent reduction per unit area with worsening drought. The Time Table requires that you identify irrigation in timing reduction cycles. Complete one of these tables or otherwise indicate your own approach and describe in detail the manner by which you will reduce irrigation during droughts.

The completed form may serve as your SDMP, pending the Department's review and approval. The Department will then condition your permit to require its implementation whenever a Drought Advisory or higher is declared for the region in which your course is located.

Should you have any questions concerning this matter please contact Duane LeVangie at 617-292-5706 or Tom Lamonte at 617-292-5532.