Gray Wins Intelligent Use of Water Award

Christopher S. Gray, Sr., golf course superintendent at Marvel Golf Club in Benton, Ky., is the recipient of the 2008 Intelligent Use of Water Award, Rain Bird announced recently. In his position at the golf club, Gray has developed and implemented innovative water conservation programs both on and off the golf course. Most recently, he led the development and implementation of a unique wastewater recapture program in which all stormwater and household wastewater generated by the homes surrounding the golf course is captured, treated, and pumped into the course's irrigation retention ponds where it is used to irrigate the course.

"I believe it is very important to use water as intelligently as possible and it is our responsibility as an industry to commit to finding alternative sources of water to meet the needs of golf courses," said Gray. "We need to leave this world a better place for future generations. None of us wants our children to have to worry about where their water is going to come from."

Harvesting more than 14 million gallons of reclaimed water per year, the innovative system eliminates the need to pull water from the local water district or nearby Kentucky Lake for irrigation purposes and significantly reduces the risk of any lake contamination from the use of pesticides and fertilizers on the golf course.

"Beyond water savings, the system has proven to be beneficial in a number of ways as it helps keep Kentucky Lake clean, and significantly reduces the amount of energy used by the course as we no longer need to pump water out of the lake," added Gray.

Rain Bird will present Gray with a check for $10,000 in acknowledgment of his contributions toward protecting Earth's most precious resource at the Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition this month in Los Angeles, Calif.

Judging this year's entries were Elizabeth Cutright, editor, Water Efficiency, The Journal for Water Conservation Professionals; Dan Stark, executive director of the American Public Gardens Association; Ron Stoltz, director of the School of Landscape Architecture at The University of Arizona and Marty Eberhardt, executive director of The Water Conservation Garden, 2007 winner of The Intelligent Use of Water Award.

Based in Azusa, Calif., Rain Bird Corp. manufactures and provides irrigation products and services.