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

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

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Irrigation of sports fields, a problem 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 irrigated during the day in the territories in a state of “drought crisis”, according to the new government regulations, addressed to the prefects on Wednesday 17 May.

Irrigation is already totally prohibited on sports fields in the territories affected by the “drought crisis” decrees but also between 11:00 and 18:00 for areas placed on “alert” or “enhanced alert”, but the training fields and tenders “with or international participation” previously benefited from a full exemption. This exemption must now “provide for significantly reduced and prohibited watering between 9am and 8pm,” specifies the government’s new “Drought Guide,” which indicates to the prefects the water use restriction measures to be taken into consideration: the three different levels of alert (alert, intensified alert, crisis).

An exception for golf courses, which are however forced to reduce the usual volumes of water by 80%.

Crisis-wise, even golf courses continue to benefit from a greens-only exemption. But for a watering now “reduced to a maximum of 350 m3/week per 9-hole course” while ensuring a “reduction of at least 80% of the usual volumes”versus at least 70% previously.

According to an inventory made 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 ordinances, in particular for most of the Pyrenean-Department Orientales, whose “drought crisis” decree was adopted on May 10 and will last until June 13.

The maps of the territories of 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 area is affected.

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