This month’s issue of SportsField Management, named The Water Issue, looked at the comprehensive management approach to water conservation. We were inspired by the excellent content covered in the issue and support with the notion that we must all take part in the effort to preserve water resources.
Water is the single most fundamental, necessary, and precious natural resource we have available. It spans 71% of the Earth and makes up about 60% of the human body; however, just 1% of water is the usable, freshwater we require. This already limited resource is becoming more and more threatened in the 21st century. As the worldwide population increases exponentially and urbanization grows to match, water is becoming a scarcer and more expensive commodity. With this in mind, it is important for sports turf managers to be stewards of the environment and do all that is possible to prioritize water conservation.
But how exactly do water conservation and sports turf management relate to each other? SFM states, “620 gallons are required to apply 1 inch of water to 1,000 square feet”. This would mean 52,700 gallons are required for an average 85,000 square foot football field, or the equivalent of leaving your shower running for 17.4 days straight. Not only is this an excessive use of water, but according to a survey conducted by SFM, less than half of the operations/facilities who participated are trying to save as much water as possible.
Dr. Jim Baird, an extension specialist in turfgrass management at the University of California- Riverside, states, “As an industry, it’s best to take a proactive approach, to show that sports turf management and water conservation can go hand in hand”. It is important to save water now, before supplies get down to critical levels.
At Act Global, we have created several lines of synthetic turf that both reduce and eliminate the need for watering sports fields. Each of our Xtreme Grass, Xtreme Turf, and UBU products provide a solution to the water issue, while offering a safe surface for the players on the pitch. Xtreme Grass, a hybrid and multipurpose product, reinforces the playability of natural grass while adding in the durability of synthetic turf. By reducing the amount of grass needed to fill a field, Xtreme Grass reduces the overall amount of water used to maintain a field. Both our Xtreme Turf and UBU products are full artificial grass options that do not require watering.
Water conservation is an increasingly pressing issue facing the sports field management sector. It’s an issue that requires facilities to take responsibility and put in the necessary effort for execution. It is our job now to prioritize sustainable turf products and habits to ensure future generations enjoy the same environmental quality as current and past generations.
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All photo credit goes to SportsField Management magazine.