David Dodd 1:48 a.m., May 18
Keeping San Diego Greens
Golf Tourney Planned for Water Conservation Campaign
DOWNTOWN JOHNNY BROWN’S, TEN MINUTES BEFORE CLOSING (AP) — San Diego Water Department director Jim Barrett today unveiled details regarding San Diego’s possibly annual “Water Hazard Classic” Celebrity Golf Tournament, the latest of the city’s efforts in its $1.8 million “No Time to Waste, No Water to Waste” campaign to raise awareness about regional water shortages.
“In golf, if you wind up in the water hazard, you’re assessed a penalty,” explained Barrett. “Here in San Diego, we’ve got our own sort of water hazard — drastically reduced supply brought on by drought and mounting legal restrictions on imported water delivery. We’re being assessed a penalty as well — a Level 2 Drought Alert Condition. That brings with it some mandatory restrictions regarding landscape irrigation, car-washing, and water fountains. We need to get the word out, and what better way than a locally televised golf tournament featuring Jim Furyk, the number-five golfer in the world?” (Barrett noted that Furyk had not yet officially committed to appear in the Water Hazard Classic, but added, “Come on — Torrey Pines in May? On the City’s dime? He’d be crazy to say no!”)
Barrett expressed hope that the tournament, tentatively scheduled for this spring, would also attract the presence of locally based celebrities. “[San Diego Chargers quarterback] Philip Rivers would be cool,” said Barrett. “He could wear one of those Chargers golf visors with the lightning-bolt thingy and a T-shirt with the address of our water-conservation website!” (sandiego.gov/water/conservation/index.shtml)
When asked about the amount of water required to keep Torrey Pines (one of three municipal golf courses citywide) lush enough and green enough to look good on HD television, Barrett replied that it was “probably less” than the million gallons a day reportedly used in Palm Springs. But he stressed that mandatory water restrictions have never been about cutting city services to the community. Rather, “they’re about helping private citizens to do their part to make it a better San Diego.”