Climate crisis: Italy’s drought emergency escalates – English


(ANSA) — ROME, JUNE 17 — Piedmont governor Alberto Cirio said Friday that 170 cities in his region have ordered that water only being used for essential purposes such as drinking and food preparation escalated.

He added that 10 cities, most of them in the province of Novara, have had their water supply cut off completely at night due to the drought.

“At the moment, the situation regarding the civilian use of drinking water is under control, but we have a very serious state of emergency for agriculture,” he said.

“Piedmont is in the midst of a water crisis worse than 2003 and it had the second hottest May since 2009.

“Butt volume is 72% less than it should be.

“The problem concerns the water source because there is no snow in the mountains (to melt and feed the river).

“We don’t have the same emergency where the supply comes from water tables.”

Piedmont and Lombardy have announced they will ask the government to declare a state of emergency over the drought.

Some areas have not rained for over 110 days after one of the driest winters in decades, meaning there is little or no snow on the country’s mountains.

Meuccio Berselli, secretary-general of the Po River District Authority, said on Wednesday that the drought hitting Italy’s longest river means some northern towns will need water supplies by truck.

Berselli told ANSA that trucks have brought water to dozens of towns in Piedmont and Lombardy because “the local reservoirs are fed from sources that no longer exist”.

According to scientists, more frequent and more intense droughts are part of the consequences of man-made climate change.

An official report said Thursday that the drought alert has spread from the Po Valley to central rivers like the Arno, Aniene and Tiber, which have half the flow they normally have at this time of year.

The ANBI Observatory for Water Resources said in a report that this was “the first season in which the consequences of climate change are massively seen in the (Italian) peninsula”.

The agricultural association CIA said on Friday that the lack of water for irrigation threatens 50% of northern Italy’s agricultural production.

Italy’s fish and seafood farming sector is also at risk as higher water temperatures and less rain increase salinity, the Feagripesca-Confcooperative association told ANSA.

The mayor of Bracciano Marco Crocicchi, the lakeside town north of Rome, said he couldn’t rule out water rationing this summer.




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