"Greenest Show on Grass" recycles water on-site while restoring upstream rivers
Submitted by Business for Water Stewardship
Tomorrow (Saturday), golf fans attending the Waste Management Phoenix Open are asked to wear green to celebrate the tournament’s sustainability initiatives. Known as GREEN OUT day, for every fan who wears green, environmentally focused charities, including Bonneville Environmental Foundation, benefit with a donation from the tournament host The Thunderbirds. As Arizona endures nearly two decades of drought, the event’s water-positive impact--which puts more water into the Verde River than the week-long golf tournament uses--is especially important.
“We know that freshwater is essential for golf, the broader tourism and recreation industries, and our community’s future,” said Janette Micelli from Waste Management, title sponsor of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. “We are proud to conserve water during the tournament and together with The Thunderbirds, Swire Coca Cola, USA and M Culinary Concepts, we fund upstream projects that support farmers and keep the Verde River flowing.”
At the tournament, water from on-site kitchens is recycled for portable toilets, and hand-washing stations use hand sanitizer instead of water. Since 2011, these practices have saved more than 37,000 gallons of fresh water. Upstream in the Verde Valley, Waste Management Phoenix Open and Change the Course partners are supporting projects to modernize irrigation and protect stream flows. Since 2015, 270 million gallons of water have been restored to the Verde River and its tributaries that supply drinking water for the Phoenix area. This year, funding will help replace outdated irrigation systems at a Camp Verde ranch with modernized, efficient sprinkler systems that reduce water diversion and groundwater pumping by 30 percent.
Last month, the Green Sports Alliance and Bonneville Environmental Foundation recognized Waste Management with the first Water Stewardship Influencer Award, honoring the tournament’s innovation and its leadership.
"For the past five years, Waste Management has helped move the needle for corporate environmental water stewardship in Arizona. Leveraging the power and influence of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, they have driven awareness and resources to conserving water, reusing grey water, and restoring freshwater to nature in a state and at a time when it could not be more important," said Todd Reeve, CEO of Bonneville Environmental Foundation and co-creator for Change the Course.
Business for Water Stewardship (BWS) works hand-in-hand with businesses to advance solutions necessary to sustain the well-being of our communities, economies, and rivers. A program of Bonneville Environmental Foundation, BWS provides a portfolio of services that catalyze business engagement and leadership. Bonneville Environmental Foundation also runs Change the Course, bringing together the public, corporations, and on the-ground conservation organizations to raise awareness about freshwater issues, reduce water footprints, and directly support water restoration projects. In just five years, Change the Course has supported more than 50 water projects across 13 U.S. states and Mexico, and restored over 10 billion gallons of water.
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Business for Water Stewardship works hand-in-hand with businesses to advance solutions necessary to sustain the well-being of our communities, economies, and rivers. We provide a portfolio of services that catalyze business engagement and leadership in environmental water stewardship.
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