Climate Activists Take a Stand Against Water Usage in Spanish Golf Courses

In a unique protest highlighting the excessive water consumption in maintaining golf courses, climate activists from Extinction Rebellion (XR) Spain and other climate groups targeted 10 golf courses across the country. Amidst a severe drought plaguing Spain, these activists planted seedlings in the golf course holes and even used cement to draw attention to the issue. Their signs carried messages such as “Alert: Drought! Golf closed for climate justice” and “water is a common good.”

XR claimed that golf in Spain consumes more water than the combined usage of the cities of Barcelona and Madrid. Referring to data from Spanish non-profit organization Ecologistas en Acción (Ecologists In Action), the group stated that a single golf hole requires over 22,000 gallons of water daily for maintenance purposes.

The primary objective of this action was to denounce the wasteful use of water during one of Europe’s most severe droughts. The group emphasized the irony of allowing such elitist leisure activities to persist while Spain grapples with drying water sources, resulting in substantial losses for rural communities reliant on irrigation for their crops.

The activists aimed to highlight that indulging the rich in activities that squander essential resources is a luxury that the country cannot afford. By drawing attention to the issue, they hope to foster a greater understanding of the urgent need to prioritize water conservation and environmental responsibility.

Spain has been grappling with a long-term drought since late 2022, exacerbated by record-breaking high temperatures in April. The severe drought has caused several reservoirs to drop below 10% capacity and resulted in extensive crop losses across millions of hectares throughout the country. In fact, between June 1 and 10, approximately 60% of Spain was under “drought alert” conditions, as stated by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.

Through their thought-provoking demonstration, these climate activists seek to encourage dialogue and action towards sustainable water management, ensuring a more responsible and equitable future for all.

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