Drought: essential water use only in 170 towns in Piedmont – English


(ANSA) – ROME, JUNE 17 – Piedmont Governor Alberto Cirio said Friday that 170 towns in his region have ordered that water be used only for essential purposes such as drinking and food preparation due to the severe drought that hit Italy, especially the northern Regions.
He added that the water supply was completely cut off at night in 10 towns, most of them in the province of Novara, due to the drought.
“At the moment the situation regarding civilian use of drinking water is under control, but we have a very serious state of emergency for agriculture,” he said.
“Piedmont is experiencing a water crisis worse than that of 2003 and it experienced the second hottest month of May since 2009.
“Po volume is 72% lower than it should be.
“The problem is the source of the water because there is no snow in the mountains (to melt and feed the river).
“We don’t have the same urgency where supplies come from groundwater”.
Piedmont and Lombardy have announced that they will ask the government to declare a state of emergency due to the drought.
Some areas haven’t had rain for more than 110 days after one of the driest winters in decades, meaning there’s little to no snow on the country’s mountains.
Meuccio Berselli, general secretary of the Po River district authority, said on Wednesday that the drought hitting Italy’s longest river means some northern towns have to be trucked in.
Berselli told ANSA that trucks were bringing water to dozens of towns in Piedmont and Lombardy because “local reservoirs are fed by springs that no longer exist.”
More frequent and intense droughts are among the consequences of human-induced climate change, say scientists.
Officials said on Thursday that the drought warning has spread from the Po Valley to central rivers like the Arno, Aniene and Tiber, which have half the water they normally have in this time of year.
The agricultural association CIA said on Friday that the lack of water for irrigation threatened 50% of agricultural production in northern Italy.
Italy’s fish and seafood farming sector is also at risk, due to rising water temperatures and decreasing salinity, the Feagripesca-Confcooperative association told ANSA . (ANSA).



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