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Barbados: Preserving paradise
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Golf club CEO

Erlyn Shuffler
Erlyn Shuffler runs an 18-hole golf course which consumes hundreds of thousands of gallons of water a day, despite the fact that Barbadians are often asked to ration their own water use.

The Chief Executive Officer of Barbados Golf Club treads a delicate line - running the resource-intensive facility under the scrutiny of an environmentally-aware public.

He is keen to stress the pains the club takes to minimise water use in the dry season.

"We will restrict the use of water just to maintain our greens and our fairways," he said. "Sometimes we water the greens by hand to reduce overspill. Maybe it's a little more labour-intensive, but everyone benefits."

And, with fears that nitrate pollution is affecting the island's fragile coral ecosystem, he told me that the management is trying to reduce the use and impact of fertilisers and herbicides on the course.

"We don't want to put excess toxic chemicals anywhere on the golf course," he said.

Mr Shuffler also hopes that the revenue generated by the golf club will be ploughed back into the economy.

He cites the example of a neighbouring golf course, which used to be a plantation, employing about a dozen people.

"Today that project has generated economic value to Barbados in the hundreds of millions," he said.

But he adds that sugar cane plantations give the Barbados its "garden state" ambience, and he does not want to see them die.

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