Environment. Drought: Italy declares an emergency in five northern regions

For several weeks, the Italian peninsula has been faced with unusually early heat waves and a lackluster rainfall.

Environment. Drought: Italy declares an emergency in five northern regions

For several weeks, the Italian peninsula has been faced with unusually early heat waves and a lackluster rainfall. Po has experienced its worst drought in 70-years.

The Italian government approved Monday the creation of a state emergency in five northern regions as a response to the crisis. These were Emilia-Romagna Friuli-Venezia Giulia Giulia Giulia Lombardy Veneto, Piedmont, Friuli-Venezia Giulia Giulia and Friuli-Venezia Giulia. It will remain in effect until December 31.

The purpose of a state of emergency is to provide "extraordinary powers and means" to allow for the immediate implementation of urgent interventions to ensure public safety, public property damage repair and normal living conditions. Population. A fund of 36.5 millions euros has been also allocated.

Coldiretti, the largest agricultural union of the country, says that drought is threatening more than 30% of national agricultural output and half the Po plain farms, which are home to Parma Ham. Lake Maggiore, Lake Garda and Lake Garda have water levels that are below the normal for this time of the year. Further south, the Tiber which flows through Rome is also dropping. The Po is the largest water reservoir on the peninsula. Many of it is used by farmers.

Recent restrictions have been announced by several municipalities: Verona (a city with a quarter million inhabitants) has rationed water use, while Milan has closed its fountains. .

Another result of the drought is that hydroelectric energy production has dropped sharply. However, hydroelectric plants, which are located mainly in northern Italy's mountainous massifs, still produce almost 20% of this country's energy. This announcement comes a day following the death of seven people in an Italian Alps glacier accident. Prime Minister Mario Draghi said that global warming was "undoubtedly" involved.

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