Turn on the water tap and fill up with what you need – that’s no longer possible in Verona and Pisa. Cities in northern Italy, popular with tourists, are offering drinking water due to persistent drought.
Due to the weather and their consequences for the water supply, the mayor of Verona signed a decree “restricting the consumption of drinking water for private purposes”, the website of the city of 250,000 said on Saturday.
Hence, the use of potable water to irrigate gardens and sports facilities, wash cars and fill swimming pools has been banned till August 31. Failure to comply with the ban will result in a fine of up to 500 euros.
Mayor Michele Conti signed a similar order in Pisa: from July 11, drinking water can only be used in homes in the Tuscany city, popular with tourists.
Half a dozen regions have already asked the government in Rome to declare a state of emergency to allow for more aid and civil defense measures. Prime Minister Mario Draghi announced that measures could continue from Monday.
► Like other European countries, Italy has been hit by an unusual heat wave in recent weeks, while no rain has fallen. The agriculturally important Po Valley in northern Italy is experiencing its worst drought in 70 years. According to Coldretty, the country’s largest farmers’ union, the drought threatens more than 30 percent of the country’s agricultural production and half of the Po Valley’s livestock. Burma ham is mainly produced there.
The water levels of Lake Maggiore and Lake Garda are significantly lower than usual this year. The Tiber, which flows through Rome, also has low water.
Another consequence of the drought: electricity generation from hydropower has dropped significantly. Hydropower plants are mainly found in the mountains in the north of the country. They typically provide about a fifth of the electricity needed in Italy.
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