sports fields, golf courses and racetracks forced to close the taps a little more in the regions in crisis

The government sent to the prefects on Wednesday the list of new restrictions applied in the regions of France affected by the “drought crisis”.

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Watering sports grounds, an issue at a time when the risk of drought is high (photo illustration).  (MAXPPP)

The sports fields and racetracks necessary for the main competitions can no longer be watered during the day in the territories in a state of “drought crisis”, according to the new government rules, addressed, Wednesday, May 17, to the prefects.

Watering is already totally prohibited on sports grounds in the territories affected by “drought crisis” decrees but also between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. for areas placed on “alert” or “enhanced alert”, but the grounds of training and competitions “with a national or international stake” previously benefited from a complete exemption. This derogation must now “provide for watering significantly reduced and prohibited between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.”, specifies the government’s new “Drought Guide”, which indicates to the prefects the measures to restrict the use of water to be taken into account. according to the three different levels of alert (alert, heightened alert, crisis).

A derogation for golf courses, nevertheless forced to reduce the usual water volumes by 80%

At the crisis level, golf courses also continue to benefit from an exemption for greens only. But for a watering now “reduced to 350 m3/week maximum per 9-hole section” while ensuring a “reduction of at least 80% of the usual volumes”against at least 70% previously.

According to an inventory carried out by the Ministry of Ecology on May 16, several departments or areas within a department have already been the subject of “crisis” or “enhanced alert” prefectural orders. This is particularly the case for most of the Pyrénées-Orientales department, whose “drought crisis” decree was taken on May 10 and runs until June 13.

The maps of territories in Metropolitan France, established on May 16, 2023, which are at risk of drought during the summer.  (MINISTRY OF ECOLOGY)

But above all, by the end of the summer, the ministry has drawn up a map of the areas at risk of drought, classifying them from “possible” to “very probable”. The whole territory is concerned.

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