Golf courses have been permitted to water greens during an unprecedented drought
Climate activists in France have plugged golf holes with cement in protest over a water ban exemption.
Many parts of the country have been hit with severe water shortages this summer, with parts of the Loire river virtually dried up.
Across two-thirds of France, a state of crisis has been declared, with rainfall down by some 85 per cent.
Up to 100 villages are reportedly short of drinking water.
France’s longest river, the Loire, is running dry due to a 'historic drought'. More than 100 towns don't have access to drinking water. The Loire is also the source of cooling water for 12 nuclear power plants.
— Mike Hudema (@MikeHudema) August 13, 2022
Golf greens have been exempt from restrictions, with officials saying they would die in days without regular water.
While residents cannot water their gardens or wash their cars in the worst-hit municipalities, golf courses have been permitted to keep up their groundwork.
“A golf course without a green is like an ice-rink without ice,” Gérard Rougier of the French Golf Federation told the France Info news website. He added that 15,000 people worked in golf courses across the country.
But the move has sparked protests in southern France, with one group – claimed to be a local branch of the Extinction Rebellion movement – filling golf course holes with cement in protest.
The group targeted sites near the city of Toulouse, calling golf the “leisure industry of the most privileged”.
Climate activists here in France went to golf courses and filled the holes with concrete
France is facing massive droughts but golf greens have been exempted from water restrictions, so people are taking action https://t.co/VrJqczm3uu
— Δ Ξ L T Λ ?️⚧️ (@DeltaVaran) August 12, 2022
In a petition, the activists said the exemption showed that “economic madness takes precedence over ecological reason”.
The water bans are decreed nationally, but enforcement is at the discretion of regional officials. So far only one area, Ille-et-Villaine in western France, has diverged, banning the watering of golf courses.
The Green mayor of the south-eastern city of Grenoble city, Éric Piolle, criticised the exemption saying: “We continue to protect the rich and powerful.”
Climate activists in south-eastern France have filled golf course holes with cement to protest against the exemption of golf greens from water bans amid the country's severe drought — 15,000 people work in golf courses across Francehttps://t.co/v5vRAshlXI
— Alfons López Tena ? (@alfonslopeztena) August 13, 2022
- Barcelona threaten Frenkie de Jong with legal action following ‘evidence of criminality’
- Man United willing to make Frenkie de Jong their highest earner
- Barça president responds to Gary Neville’s comments over treatment of Frenkie de Jong