Despite the first rains and thunderstorms in the North of Italy, the drought emergency does not stop, reports the Italian Observatory on water resources Anbi.
“In Northern Italy it is a hitherto unknown drought condition, and a few thunderstorms will not be enough to bring the water balance back into balance,” said Francesco Vincenzi, president of Anbi.
The heat is returning again again on the last day of July, until mid August, while many Italians are ready to leave for summer holidays. The situation remains extremely serious for the natural resources of the Po Valley in northern Italy, with consequences and repercussions for local agriculture.
Although on the one hand there have been calls from local authorities to ration the use of water resources, on the other hand the country’s poor water efficiency remains appalling. Wasting water is a risk factor when climate change brings us to hotter summers and lesser rainfall.
The situation is extremely difficult and the risk is that of losing even those crops that could be made safe through quick and incisive action.
According to Italian national data service ISTAT, in 2020, 36.2% of the water injected was lost, totalling 41 cubic metres of water per day per km of network. Despite water lost decreased compared to 2018 (36.2%) water waste remains a crucial issue in understanding the Italian drough crisis.
During the hottest days of July, many cases of water theft from canals and rivers occurred in the lowland countryside in order for farmers to irrigate their fields. The region of Piemonte recorded 40 cases of farms illegally appropriating water from the Po River, which is already at an all-time lowNorthern Italy is known for its large production of rice, maize and wine. Greater emphasis should be placed on the collection, recovery and retention of water through regional or national plans, this also in order to align with SDGs goals promoted through the European Green Deal.