Golf course irrigation water-use data were collected as part of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Use Program's 2005 compilation to provide baseline information, as no golf course irrigation water-use data (separate from crop irrigation) have been reported in previous compilations. A Web-based survey, designed by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Rocky Mountain Golf Course Superintendents Association (RMGCSA), was electronically distributed by the association to the 237 members in Colorado. Forty-three percent of the members returned the survey, and additional source water information was collected by telephone for all but 20 of the 245 association member and non-member Colorado golf courses.
For golf courses where no data were collected at all, an average 'per hole' coefficient, based on returned surveys from that same county, were applied. In counties where no data were collected at all, a State average 'per hole' value of 13.2 acre-feet was used as the coefficient. In 2005, Colorado had 243 turf golf courses (there are 2 sand courses in the State) that had an estimated 2.27 acre-feet per irrigated course acre, and 65 percent of the source water for these courses was surface water. Ground water, potable water (public supply), and reclaimed wastewater, either partially or wholly, were source waters for the remaining courses. Fifty-three of the 64 counties in Colorado have at least one golf course, with the greatest number of courses in Jefferson (23 courses), Arapahoe (22 courses), and El Paso Counties (20 courses). In 2005, an estimated 5,647.8 acre-feet in Jefferson County, 5,402 acre-feet in Arapahoe County, and 4,473.3 acre-feet in El Paso County were used to irrigate the turf grass.