The European Irrigation Association (EIA)1, which represents all professionals involved with the irr...
The Noria Golf Course, near Marrakesh, was opened in November 2014, after 5 years of hard work. Watered in its entirety with recycled water from the city, provided with picturesque ponds and lined with palm trees, the Noria golf course is a feat of water engineering, environmentally friendly and an aesthetic wonder.
The concept of this golf course was to recreate a traditional Moroccan village by highlighting the architecture and landscapes?of?southern?Morocco. These landscapes include mountains, fields, desert, orchards, oasis, villages and palaces. To achieve this, the design of the course includes these different elements divided into three zones, according to the following plan:
• Olive groves and lavender fields from n° 1 hole to n° 7 hole.
• Desert landscape from n° 11 to n° 13 hole.
• Lakes and towers located along the centre axis crossing the golf complex from the North to the Club House.
In front of the very modern “Bedouin style” Club House, a series of different sized ponds stretches over an area of 500 metres. Holes 9 to 18 are positioned on either side of these ponds, interspersed with impeccable fairways and lush greens. The view is spectacular.
The aim was to obtain mirror-like pools, with calm waters, free of any ripples or turbulence. Howaver, this is particularly difficult to achieve with deep water. “We have built shallow ponds for economic reasons”, explained Didier Comte, from the company Imaginieur. He has set up a gravity-return system, which links the ponds to each other.
The water flows without turbulence at walking pace, allowing for a smooth water surface, like a mirror reflecting the evening light. The excess water resulting from the narrowing of the lakes “disappears” into the pipes that lead into the next lakes. A coarse filtration system is formed from the plastic cages located in the spillways, easily reached via the access grids.
After a water jump, the water flows into a second lake, near n° 8 hole, extended by a spectacular rectangular green, the same shape as the pond, and by a watch tower along the middle.
The design of the n° 8 hole is truly unique. There is also a rectangular pond, extended by a rectangular green, overlooked by a rectangular tower of rammed clay.
The water then passes into a large underground oxygenation system consisting of 10 oxygenators of the Caprari Oxyflow type. This system has been buried below ground because it is very noisy. It could become a nuisance for any villas constructed in the future.
Apart from the oasis, the Noria golf course pays tribute to the desert and mountainous landscapes of Morocco. Holes Nos 11 to 13 provide a symbolic reference to the Moroccan desert. The shaded areas emerging from the different shaped bunkers at n° 17 hole, with a backdrop of the snow-capped summits of the High Atlas mountain range, make a really stunning landscape.
The Lynx system allows for all essential information about the irrigation system to be accessed via a simple easy-to-use interface. Organised on a per hole and per zone basis, the Lynx central control system allows for the user to define and control the irrigation system according to his/her personal requirements. It allows for irrigation to be controlled by adjusting the sprinkler run times and the amounts applied, with the system itself calculating the other parameter. It assists the user who, by following the green water droplet icons on the irrigation map, can view the hole, deactivated zone and station, whether pending or to be programmed. Finally, it provides a daily summary of the performances of the sprinkler system.
The golf course’s irrigation system consists of the 1800 Toro DT 34 and 35 sprinklers, a Toro Lynx satellite controlled central control system and 54,000 metres of piping.
The average consumption of the golf course in the summer is 3,660 m3/night. The golf course is entirely irrigated with the city’s waste water, which arrives directly from the new Marrakesh treatment plant, financed in part by the real estate programmes.
The water treatment plant, originally built in 2008, was modified in 2011 in order to ensure that the treated water complied with the international quality standards required for the irrigation of parks and gardens. Nowadays, the volume treated annually by the plant is 33 million m3 of water, which corresponds to half of the city’s total water consumption. This water is used to irrigate the palm groves, an important part of Morocco’s heritage, the green spaces and all the city’s major real estate and golf complexes. The surplus is used to replenish the aquifers.
The irrigation system used on the Noria golf course incorporates the latest Toro innovations: the Lynx central management system, the VP satellite network and the latest golf course sprinklers. This system allows for the optimum irrigation of the Noria golf course, by using the least possible water, electricity and labour.