French activists fill holes with cement to protest irrigation exemptions

:Climate activists linked to Extinction Rebellion have targeted golf courses in southern France and filled holes with concrete to protest exemptions to water restrictions during one of the worst droughts on record.

France has urged residents to avoid unnecessary water use such as washing cars and watering gardens. Activists, however, complain that golf courses are still allowed to irrigate greens.

The protest action took place at Club Vieille-Toulouse and also at the Garonne des Sept Deniers golf course.

French Golf Federation’s Gerard Rougier defended her exemption from water restrictions to news website France Info: “A golf course without a green is like an ice rink without ice.”

Extinction Rebellion Toulouse posted a photo on Twitter of what appeared to be a golf hole filled with cement and a sign that read, “This hole drinks 277,000 litres. do you drink that much #Stop Golf” shows.

“Economic madness comes before ecological reason,” said a petition against the abolition of the exemption for French golf courses in the event of drought.

Water bans are enforced at the discretion of regional officials, and so far only Ille-et-Villaine in western France has banned golf course irrigation.

France was one of the firefighters hardest hit by the hot and dry conditions across Europe, battling a “monster” blaze in forests in south-west France.