As Spain reels under a massive drought crisis, climate activists have targeted golf courses around the country to discourage the ‘waste’ of water that is used to maintain the field. CNN reported that activists from Extinction Rebellion (XR) Spain, along with other climate groups, plugged up holes in at least 10 golf courses around the country, including those located in Madrid, Valencia, Ibiza and Navarra. Some of them filled the holes with cement while others planted seedlings.
Protesters were also carrying posters and placards with phrases such as: “Alert: Drought! Golf closed for climate justice” and “water is a common good.”
In a statement, the XR climate group said the motive of their campaign was “to denounce the waste of water in the context of one of the worst droughts that Europe has suffered.”
Why climate activists are targeting golf courses
According to climate activists, the water resources being used to maintain golf courses can be put to better use in a country where farmers are struggling due to the ongoing drought crisis. In a video message, Extinction Rebellion claimed “golf in Spain uses more water than the cities of Barcelona and Madrid combined”. The group also claimed that one hole of a golf course requires 100,000 litres of water every day to maintain the field around it.
XR further claims that only 0.6 per cent of the country’s population plays golf, which doesn’t justify the use of massive amounts of water for maintenance.
XR was quoted by CNN as saying that it wanted to point out the “cynicism of continuing to allow this type of elitist leisure while Spain dries up and the rural world suffers millions in losses due to the lack of water for their crops.”
‘Part of a larger fight against richest 1 per cent’
The activists have also pointed out that their anti-golf drive is a part of their larger fight against the richest 1 per cent of Spain. They also made it clear that they will also target the use of private jets and polluting cars by those elites.
The statement by XR read, “The rich and their leisure activities that waste essential resources are a luxury that we cannot afford.”
Drought crisis in Spain
According to Ricardo Torrijo, a spokesperson for AEMET, the Spanish national weather service, Spain has been facing a prolonged drought since the end of 2022. The situation has worsened in recent months, with March experiencing only 36 per cent of the average monthly rainfall, marking it as the second driest March of the century.
The trend continued into April, which has the potential to become the driest month ever recorded in Spain.
Source : WION