In light of the worst drought in 70 years, Italy has declared an emergency in five northern districts around the Po River.According to the agricultural group Coldiretti, the drought poses a threat to more than 30% of Italy’s agricultural output.To address the water scarcity, emergency funding totaling €36.5 million (£31 million; $38 million) will be allocated to Emilia-Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Piedmont, and Veneto.Water rationing has already been announced by several municipalities.The Italian government stated that the state of emergency is intended to manage the current crisis with unprecedented means and powers. If things didn’t get better, it threatened to take more action.
Water shortages in northern Italy have gotten worse and concerns about the effects of climate change have increased due to unusually hot temperatures and limited rainfall during the winter and spring.
Seven people were killed and numerous others are still missing in Sunday’s glacier fall in the Dolomites, which Prime Minister Mario Draghi claimed was “without a doubt” related to climate change. Italy’s longest river, the Po, flows more than 650 kilometers eastward (404 miles). Farmers in the Po Valley claim that crops are being destroyed by seawater that is now leaking into the river.One-third of Italy’s food is produced in the country’s agricultural heartland, which is traversed by the Po.
It has historically been the economic backbone of one of Europe’s most dynamic and significant regions, and it has come to represent prosperity in northern Italy.
The drought of today has drastically changed the environment and had an impact on all river-related activities, including farming and the production of watermelons and tomatoes. Producers of parmesan cheese are concerned that they won’t be able to feed their cows.
The drought, which was brought on by higher-than-normal temperatures and no snow or rain, raises more general concerns about how to handle water crises, which experts predict will occur more frequently as a result of climate change.
The situation is predicted to get worse if it doesn’t rain. All decorative fountains in Milan have been shut off, and the mayor has forbidden washing personal automobiles and watering gardens. Water rationing has already started in a few other northern Italian cities.