Thursday afternoon, the University's Palouse Ridge Golf Club defended their water usage to the Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee. The golf course superintendent informed those in attendance that their computer-monitored irrigation system conserves water by indicating which areas need it, and which ones don't.
"We have one of the top-notch irrigation systems in the United States, not just the state of Washington," said Palouse Ridge Golf Course Superintendent Tom Lupkes. "There are $1,000,000 golf courses all over the country that would love to have what we have."
Environmentalists say the only number that matters is the amount of water in the Grande Ronde aquifer, which is declining annually. Environmental organizations on the Palouse filed a lawsuit against WSU and the Washington State Department of Ecology regarding the 2006 decision to consolidate WSU's municipal water rights. The State Supreme Court heard the case last month, however it could still be months before they issue their ruling on the matter.