Insider Tips From Local Experts

Scottsdale Stories

Scottsdale Golf Courses’ Innovative Water Conservation

Golf has been played in Scottsdale for well over a century, and since its early beginnings, the city has traded oiled dirt courses tucked beneath Camelback Mountain for grassy greens surrounded by native flora. Yet there’s more than meets the eye to these courses — and the ways in which that vibrant hue is maintained.




Hundreds of thousands of locals and millions of visitors participate in the sport statewide, supporting the livelihoods of nearly 66,200 people. As an important economic generator, golf clubs throughout Arizona understand their responsibility to use precious resources wisely — water being no exception. According to the Arizona Alliance for Golf, the state’s $6 billion golf industry uses only 2% of daily statewide water to serve 16.6 million rounds of golf. Since turf limitations were adopted in the 1980s, Arizona’s golf industry has used less water despite increased demand, thanks to ongoing efficiencies in irrigation technologies.




In the 1990s, the city of Scottsdale partnered with several golf courses on a highly-effective solution to water conservation: the Reclaimed Water Distribution System (RWDS). This system allows Scottsdale Water to supply reclaimed, treated wastewater for irrigation to 23 public and private golf courses in the northern part of the city. This complex system of pipelines, booster pump stations and reclaimed and advanced water treatment facilities is capable of delivery 20 million gallons a day of non-potable water for turf irrigation. Over the years, participating golf courses have invested more than $55 million into the system so that no taxpayer or rate payer fees would be used. These courses are proactively executing better sustainable water practices to further extend a more restrictive supply. When courses use less water in the winter months, the excess is further purified —beyond drinking water standards — and injected into the aquifer to further advance Scottsdale’s long-term water sustainability.



Three men golfing at Troon North Golf Club

Participating golf clubs include some of Scottsdale’s largest and most award-winning courses. Here’s where you can play a public course on the Reclaimed Water Distribution System.

  • Boulders Golf Club
  • Grayhawk Golf Club
  • Legend Trails Golf Club
  • TPC Scottsdale
  • Troon North Golf Club

Learn about other ways Scottsdale-area golf courses handle sustainability here.