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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Maricopa, Arizona » U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center » Water Management and Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #392518

Research Project: Increasing the Utility of Turf in Urban Environments of the Southwest U.S.

Location: Water Management and Conservation Research

Title: Pertinent water-saving management strategies for sustainable turfgrass in the desert u.s southwest

Author
item Serba, Desalegn
item Hejl, Reagan
item BURAYU, WORKU - University Of Virgin Islands, St Croix
item UMEDA, KAI - University Of Arizona
item Bushman, Shaun
item Williams, Clinton

Submitted to: Sustainability
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/30/2022
Publication Date: 10/6/2022
Citation: Serba, D.D., Hejl, R.W., Burayu, W., Umeda, K., Bushman, B.S., Williams, C.F. 2022. Pertinent water-saving management strategies for sustainable turfgrass in the desert u.s southwest. Sustainability. 14. 12722. https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912722.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912722

Interpretive Summary: Fresh water availability has become a major concern for turfgrass irrigation in the desert U. S. Southwest due to diminishing surface and ground water supplies. To sustain the turf industry and its economic and recreational importance in the region, drought tolerant cultivar development and innovative management practices that improve turfgrass performance with less irrigation are essential. A comprehensive study encompassing different turfgrass species, irrigation scheduling, and strategic use of recycled water to achieve acceptable turfgrass appearance as well as outreach education to improve public perception of realities for a “green” environment will be critically important. Thus, redefining the quality of irrigated turfgrass to align with the looming environmental condition is envisioned. Recent developments in turf science and increased awareness through contemporary communication platforms will make sustainable eco-tourism possible in the region. Findings from this synthesis study will be important to the golf industry and water management agencies serving consumers in arid regions.

Technical Abstract: Drought and heat stresses are major challenges for turfgrass management in the desert regions of the United States where rainfall is insufficient to support managed turfgrass growth. Irrigation water availability and its quality are increasingly strained due to diminishing surface water supplies. Unprecedented drought conditions threaten the reliance on groundwater supplies that are heavily scrutinized for irrigation practices on landscape and recreational turfgrass. Therefore, development of germplasm and lower input turf management strategies that sustains turfgrass appearance and performance with less irrigation water, tolerance of higher seasonal temperatures, and less predictable rainfall will be critically important. Sustainability of acceptable quality turfgrass can be accomplished through drought and heat tolerant cultivars by harnessing the natural ge-netic variation, genetic manipulation using modern genomic technology, and optimizing turfgrass management practices for improved drought tolerance. Besides persistent efforts of varietal development and improved turfgrass management for drought tolerance and performance, redefining the quality of irrigated turfgrass for consumers to align with the environmental conditions is envisioned to foster a sustainable golf, sports fields, and landscape turfgrass industry in the region. A comprehensive study encompassing different turfgrass species and enhancing management practices to achieve acceptable per-forming turfgrass as well as outreach education to improve public perception of realities for a “green” environment will be critically important. Increased awareness for a sustainable turfgrass paradigm and eco-tourism can be achieved with the recent developments in turfgrass science and contemporary communication platforms