“Seeing him like that is heartbreaking”: the drought is hurting the land

Usually here, the soft and soft grass has nothing to envy to the carpet. It is also usually bright green. “Seeing him like that is heartbreaking. In Brittany I had never seen that, concedes Stéphane Chamard, pointing to all the sectors scorched by the lack of water.

He is the head gardener of the Bruz golf course located near Rennes (Ille-et-Vilaine). Inasmuch as gardener he must ensure, with his four colleagues, that the 70 hectares of playground are always impeccable. Difficult, if not impossible, when the prefectural decrees always restricting a little more the use of water follow one another.

For more than a month, the departure zones and the fairways (the aisles) no longer receive a drop of water. Only the green vegetables, a fundamental sector disfavoring the hole, still benefited from watering, according to a sanction granted by the State. Without them, no game.

Stade Rennais continues to water

But since the prefectural decree of Tuesday August 2, it is over in Ille-et-Vilaine. Most of the department is now at the maximum alert level called “crisis”. This entails the prohibition, among other things, of watering sports grounds and golf courses (except those of Bois-Guy, near Fougères, and Freslonnière, in Rheu, which have built up rainwater reserves ). Another notable exception: Stade Rennais, which still has the right to water its main pitch.

Stéphane Chamard is the greenkeeper of the Bruz golf course (Ille-et-Vilaine). © West-France

Questioned just before the entry into force of the decree, Stéphane Chamard did not hide his concern. “Just to redo the green vegetables, it would cost around €500,000. » A pharaonic expense which, according to the gardener, would inevitably lead to the closure of the establishment.

Up to 600 m³ of water per day in normal times

photo the bruz golf course extends over 70 hectares and requires, outside the restriction period, 600 m3 of water per day.  © west-france

The Bruz golf course extends over 70 hectares and requires, outside the restriction period, a watering of 600 m3 of water per day. © West-France

A golf course is particularly water-intensive. “When there are no restrictions, this represents 500 to 600 m³ per day. » But in recent weeks, “we had reduced to less than 70 m³ per day”.

The water, unlike other structures, does not come from the drinking water network. In Bruz, the water is drawn from retention basins, formed in old quarries, and supplied directly by the Vilaine, meandering a few meters away. Reserves still abundant, “even if the level has already dropped by at least one meter”.

If Stéphane Chamard does not hide a certain apprehension for the weeks to come – “no rain is forecast before the end of the month” – he wants to be a philosopher. “Everyone has forgotten it, but last summer we practically didn’t water. It was raining all the time. »


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