Do golf courses escape water restrictions?

While all metropolitan departments are concerned with one of the four drought warning levels, are golf courses exempt from any water restriction measure or subject to minimal restrictions? This is suggested by the numerous statements and tweets from the deputies of La France Insomes.

In times of drought, swimming pools are prohibited from filling but golf courses must reduce their consumption by 20% and water between 7 pm and 8 am.s “announces, on the social network Twitter, LFI deputy to Marseille Hendrik Duffy. He adds that”18 holes need 5000m3 [d’eau]/ dayIn CNews, on Tuesday August 2, LFI Vice President for Bouches du Rhônes Manuel Bompard, for his part, considered it unacceptable that the sectors, “For example golf courses“is being”Exempt from restrictive measures“Water.”Unacceptable class decisionFollow on Twitter. What is it really?

Measures are taken in times of drought within the framework of a legal system and recommended national guidelines, according to four levels of severity: vigilance, alert, hypervigilance and crisis. Decisions are then made by the provinces, at the local level, to determine, according to the evolution of the drought, which area it is in, and what constraints are associated with it, in consultation with the water resources committees.

For golf courses, the general framework specifies that at the drought alert threshold, daytime watering is prohibited, weekly consumption should be reduced by 15-30% andWeekly water withdrawals must be recorded in the logs. On high alert, water consumption is reduced by at least 60%, and irrigation is prohibited except on tees and on greens (grass areas are mowed near holes) which according to the National Golf Association represents on average only 1 to 2% of the total area. Finally, in the so-called crisis stage, there is a ban on watering. Greens can be at night,”By irrigation to what is absolutely necessaryExcept in the case of a shortage of drinking water.

These actions have been taken within the framework of agreements between the sector and the ministries of environment and agriculture for the period 2019-2024 which also include commitments by the sector to undertake actions to raise awareness and conserve biodiversity. It can be strengthened at the local level if the governors or mayors deem it necessary to do so.

Climate change will lead to more frequent, severe and longer droughts in the coming years. Under these circumstances, the French golf commitment is reflected in a more rational management of water resources.He writes on his website the French Golf Association. This admits that water consumption is high, but the president of the union, Pascal Grizot, is surprised by the figures given by La Frances deputy Hendrik Duffy, questioned by franceinfo. Average annual national consumption for a golf course is 25,000 cubic meters per year per 9-hole section, states the Federation, whose estimate given by the MP was 36.5 times higher than the reality.

The figures of 5,000 cubic meters of water per day provided by the LFI MP to Marseille are based on the Senate report, dating from 2002-2003, on the basis of statistics collected for some in 1992. The estimate also relates to “18-hole golf courses of the highest standardIt was stated in the report at the time:That there are very large differences between golf courses, which makes creating them very risky modified”. “The French Golf Federation has been working with the Ministries of Environment, Agriculture and Sports for more than twenty years and is committed to reducing water use by more than 30%,” Confirms to Pascal Grizot, according to whom “These goals have been achieved.”

However, the Federation acknowledges on its website that at this stage ” Just 20% of golf courses make use of supplies that can be considered “sustainable”: rainwater collected and stored in reserves, raw water from large irrigation canals, and water recycled by treatment plants.” More than 70% of golf courses use water for irrigation in natural environments (ground and surface water) And about 10% use water from the public network (and thus drinking water).

Golf courses are anyway well affected by water restrictions, which also explains, as the federation points out, that some courses are dry and yellow. This may confuse golfers, but she concludes that it involves itTo carry out awareness and educational work so that they understand and appreciate the meaning of these savings and solidarity measures among water users“.

How can everyone be better informed?

Participate in the consultation initiated as part of the de facto European project on the Make.org platform. Franceinfo is the partner