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French golf courses keep heads above water

by editor

Faced with a water shortage due to the drought, French golf clubs are finding ways to reduce water consumption

The Seignosse golf course on the south-west coast of France has recently installed a new irrigation system that can react more quickly to the levels of rainfall and other variables. It’s a €1.2m investment with a €300,000 subsidy from the regional water agency.

By using a forked sensor, technicians measure the humidity of the green and calculate how often to water the golf course. The aim is to reduce consumption by recycling water and adapting to future droughts in a sport that has come under fire for its environmental impact.

After a rainy spring night, the hygrometer shows 24.9% in the short grass. 

“24% is quite high, last night we had a lot of rain. So we’re not going to water for several days, to get down to a value of 12 to 15. When we get to 12, we will do a nightly watering cycle to increase the rate to a median value of 15,” explains greenskeeper, Jean Ruas.

Ruas estimates between 30%-40% of water is saved each year thanks to the new irrigation system, which was introduced in March this year.

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