As an ever-growing number of professional sports teams are struggling with training and game schedule interruptions due to weather conditions on grass playing fields. They’re starting to ask the question: could making the switch to artificial grass be the answer?
Recent weather extremes
We’re already familiar with drought challenges and trying to keep lawns green. Now, with the recent flooding and other La Nina-related extreme weather conditions, we’re having the opposite problem of too much water in some regions. This extends to sports teams having trouble finding fields in which to either practice or play.
The increasing popularity of artificial grass among sporting organisations is really leading the way as far as responsible water use. Switching to synthetic grass is one of the choices which can have the biggest positive impact in countrywide water conservation. The Weather Bureau has already warned us to prepare for warmer years coming up. Drought measures should be taken across the country, not just in the hardest-hit areas. Synthetic turf can save countless gallons of water annually over natural lawns. Just one square foot of lawn will need a lot of of water per year. In sporting arenas where grass commonly covers dozens of hectares, costs are typically in excess of $1 million per year just for watering. Think of the number of football fields, golf courses or race tracks there are across the country and a staggering picture adds up pretty quickly of just how much water we’re using to keep all those areas neat and green. Changes have to be made
Although we’ve had a wet year this year, the Bureau of Meteorology still warns us about upcoming rainfall deficiencies. Regardless of flooding, many areas of our country are still suffering lower-than-average rainfalls. The time to start planning for water-saving alternatives is right now. Artificial grass will save sports organizations both in water usage and maintenance costs. Installing synthetic turf will also eliminate loss-of-use time due to mud or standing puddles, because correct planning and installation of the material will reduce those kinds of drainage problems.
The bottom line is, natural grass needs a lot of water, and we’re a country which regularly faces drought. It just isn’t environmentally responsible to continue using natural lawns, and a decreased water supply will likely mean inflated watering costs over the next few years. Making the change to synthetic playing fields can save hundreds of thousands, and very likely millions, of gallons every year. We carry a responsibility to future generations to take care of this land and pass it on. We have the tools to be more conservative in our water use, so why not use them? Synthetic grass is already popular among Sunshine Coast residents; it can make an even greater impact if used by sports teams as well.