Intelligent, efficient and sustainable use of water on golf courses

September 2, 2013
Intelligent, efficient and sustainable use of water on golf courses
Credit: Shutterstock

A wireless system capable of optimally irrigating golf courses promises not only better-cared for greens and fairways but substantial savings in water usage as well. In fact, the EU-funded WaterGolf project, which kicked off in January 2013, could end up saving golf courses one third of their annual water budget.

Water is perhaps the single greatest challenge to golf's sustainability. This is why the sector urgently needs to find ways of optimising its by increasing efficiency and utilising innovative technologies. This also makes good economic sense, since water costs will most likely rise in the near future.

Indeed, takes up a growing percentage of total water use, and golf courses have often been criticised for using excessive amounts of water. This has certainly been the case in drier regions of Europe, such as Portugal and Spain. Furthermore, a recent report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) suggested that Europe has so far concentrated on increasing the supply of water rather than exploring ways to limit its demand.

WaterGolf seeks to address these issues, and represents a considered change in approach to water preservation. By integrating underground sensors capable of measuring underground humidity, salinity and temperature along with surface sensors to measure colour, wind speed and direction, the project will help clubs know exactly when and where they need to apply water to their course.

The system will work by feeding regularly updated measurements via wireless technology into artificial intelligence-driven software. This software will then suggest parameters for irrigation in different areas of the course, taking into consideration other inputs such as 3D golf course mapping, drainage and .

All measurements will be transmitted by means of low ZigBee technology, with a bespoke antenna design. ZigBee is used in applications that require a low data rate, long battery life, and secure networking. The decentralised nature of this wireless ad hoc network makes it suitable for applications where a central node can't be relied upon, such as coverage over a golf course.

The technology can also be used to inform the user of any existing or potentially looming turf diseases, thus helping golf courses to remedy any problems quickly and efficiently. WaterGolf users will also have internet access to experts in the field, should they have any questions.

Explore further: Golf courses that reuse water irrigate too much

More information: WATERGOLF www.watergolf-project.com

Related Stories

Golf courses that reuse water irrigate too much

March 15, 2011

Irrigation is one of the most controversial aspects in the sustainable management of golf courses. Researchers from the Canary Islands have spent 25 years analysing the practices relating to reclaimed water at one of the ...

Beijing plans rule to curb capital's water usage

March 26, 2012

Authorities in Beijing plan to pass a rule this year aimed at curbing water usage by the capital's many golf courses and ski resorts, an official said Monday, as the city battles severe shortages.

In California oasis, ample water leads to waste

June 19, 2012

An oasis in the California desert, Palm Springs says it is committed to saving water -- but not before filling its swimming pools and tending to its dozens of verdant golf courses.

More crops per drop

July 12, 2013

A solution is much needed to fight droughts and preserve crops. Researchers have now developed a device capable of checking the humidity in the soil, and releasing irrigation water as needed – just enough without wasting ...

Crops watering by phone

July 16, 2013

Thanks to a new app, smart phones could help monitor irrigation water use according to need. This could ensure that food is available on our table is the produced in a sustainable way.

Recommended for you

Facebook ready to test giant drone for Internet service

July 30, 2015

Facebook says it will begin test flights later this year for a solar-powered drone with a wingspan as big as a Boeing 737, in the next stage of its campaign to deliver Internet connectivity to remote parts of the world.

Power grid forecasting tool reduces costly errors

July 30, 2015

Accurately forecasting future electricity needs is tricky, with sudden weather changes and other variables impacting projections minute by minute. Errors can have grave repercussions, from blackouts to high market costs. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.