How the Lille Métropole golf course is coping with the drought

No more tap water in a hundred towns in France, crops that are lost. Drought is rife and Nord-Pas-de-Calais is no exception. Six basins are on alert. So in this context, where calls to moderate water consumption are increasing, how are northern golf courses adapting? Well, some very careful fontsas at the golf course of Lille Métropole, in Ronchin.

We see the difference between the watered green, and the rest. ©Radio France
Marianne Naquet

At the wheel of the cart, Mathieu Leszczynsky, the manager goes around the field, and the report is not brilliant. “When we talk about golf, we expect to see something green, and there it is grilled”. Gone are the days when we watered the whole course, the director monitors the water consumptionlike milk on fire. “We just water the greens, because it’s the most sensitive part, the one that needs to be best maintained to get the ball rolling.”

No restrictions requested by the authorities

The greens, that is to say the grassy areas mowed very close around the holes, there is no watering before departures, given the situation in the north. “Depending on the rivers that pass, the restrictions are different. There are four thresholds: here, we are vigilant, this is the first threshold.” Which means for the moment, there are no restrictions, but the club is obligated to consume no more than 120 cubic meters of water per day.

One of the greens, watered at night.
One of the greens, watered at night. ©Radio France
Marianne Naquet

A economic approach that pleases to customers. “It’s essential, everyone is making an effort“, according to Jean-Michel, who has been golfing for 20 years. For players, that also means playing differently, hitting shorter balls: “I have to adapt my game, already it’s not terrible, I have to play differently”, add another player.

Everyone is waiting for the rain to return: the last significant rain dates back to the end of June here. A priori, things are off to a bad start: a new heat wave should arrive next week, with 35 degrees expected on Friday. No rain is forecast on the horizon for the next few days.

How Golf Gets Water

The Lille Métropole golf course uses the drilling technique and draws water from the water table, as well as from two water retention basins, if necessary. In 2021, they drew 8,000 cubic meters over the year. There, since January, they have already drawn 12,000 meters cubes.

One of the water retention basins.
One of the water retention basins. ©Radio France
Marianne Naquet

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