Watering golf courses or city plants, a choice that bothers mayors

France is dry. While a new heat wave is underway, 93 of France’s 96 departments are on drought alert and 57 are in “crisis” mode – the highest threshold -, according to the latest government data. Thus, the French are called upon to reduce their water consumption.

It is the provinces that order the restrictions, through ordinances, based on “minimum measures” from a national guideline from the Ministry of Environmental Transformation. In consultation with water management stakeholders, however, they can enact additional or more stringent rules locally. But some elected officials make no secret of their dissatisfaction with the choices that have been made.

Preserving green spaces

Thus, watering greenery in the most affected areas is very limited. In Valbonne, a small Alpine town the Maritimes, which has been under restrictions since the beginning of July, the restrictions had a tangible effect on the vegetation: “ We have dead leaves everywhere, it feels like falling “, the municipality’s director of technical services and environment, expressed, at the end of July, to the France 3 PACA microphone. ” Plants suffer. We’ll face losses, that’s for sure! »

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In Valencia (Drom), irrigation of green spaces is prohibited, but the mayor of LR Nicolas Daragon decided not to respect the rule. ” These trees are all Valentine trees. Some of them have no garden and no air conditioning. When they want to cool off, they go to a park or yard ‘, justifies the city councilman at mic franceinfo. And to add: Before us is the Ardesh circuit which is not on the level of the drought crisis and which draws water from the same river as us, the Rhone. So there is a small bit of misunderstanding in the seriousness of this decree. »

Guillaume Martin, Energy and Climate Engineer, Wanted by MarianThe usefulness of these measures however is real and It will be difficult to set collective restrictions on use if representatives of the country do not play the game According to him, the treatment of green spaces must be completely rethought, in light of the climatic context: “ Many lawns are mowed regularly or just before heat waves. It is quite possible to maintain areas of freshness without watering every evening in times of crisis. We must anticipate, adapt the selection of species, as well as the techniques of cultivation and cultivation. »

“Environment class? »

If having some judgments is annoying, then not having others is just as annoying…” In anti-drought decisions, there is an exemption to allow watering of golf courses! While we advocate sobriety, the practices of the wealthy are protected ”, lamented the mayor of EELV in Grenoble, Eric Peul, on Saturday 30 July on BFM TV.

Soon, criticism was drawn from the elected officials of the Nupes, who also denounced a privilege related to the wealthy. ” In times of drought, swimming pools are not allowed to fill, but golf courses must reduce their consumption by 20% and water between 7 pm and 9 am. The 18-hole stadium needs 5,000 m3/day, or the consumption of 12,000 residents. What if we ban them too? propose to Twitter Bosch Deputy Ron Hendrik Duffy. ” I don’t think we’ll find a better illustration of class environment today. ‘, continues the deputy marine and environmental activist of the Seine Alma Dufour.

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In fact, the restrictions on golf courses are different in different departments, even if in a severe drought, at least watering is required vegetables And the starting spaces are already tolerance. ” If there is no longer a golf course, it may stop working, because the essence of the game disappears ”, explains the professional in the sector in columns cable. It should be noted that unlike amateur soccer fields, which are the responsibility of associations and therefore volunteer employees, the golf industry has about 5,200 employees, according to a 2021 report led by the Joint National Commission on Employment and Training (CNPEF). Therefore, the economic argument seems to prevail in this particular case.

But for Guillaume Martin, that’s the dimension” symbolic » Which is shocking in this right. ” To think that we are likely to pay more for our food because of the drought and its impact on the agricultural sector, and at the same time we preferred to play golf … Of course, this raises questions “The engineer was released, considering these discussions above all else.” symptomatic “from a community that has” Not aware of the extent of global warming “.

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