- The Italian government has declared a state of emergency due to a severe drought in five regions of the country.
- Affected until December 31: Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia.
Cabinet met Monday evening, Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s office announced. With the state of emergency, the government can easily free up money and resources to combat the effects of drought in the Alpine regions and areas along the Po River. Rome provided 36.5 million euros to the regions.
A level lower than it was 70 years ago
The state of emergency applies to areas most affected by drought. Northern Italy in particular is currently experiencing a severe drought. Large lakes such as Lake Garda have much less water than usual at this time of year. The water level of the Po River – Italy’s longest river – has fallen so low that salt water seeped to the river bed for miles at the mouth of the sea. In some places, the level is lower than it was 70 years ago.
Cities like Pisa and Verona have recently restricted water use. Venice and Milan closed part of the fountains. The potential for droughts in the Mediterranean and other regions of the world has increased in severity as a result of climate change.
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