What will visitors to Italy face as the Italian government implements Italy’s water bans as emergency measures? Italy is experiencing a severe drought due to high temperatures and a severe lack of rainfall.
The worst drought in 70 years in Italy
Northern Italy is experiencing its worst drought since 1952 after months of no heavy rain. The Po River, Italy’s longest, is experiencing record low water levels.
Temperatures are rising, and there is no snow in the mountains that normally feed the river, exacerbating the situation.
The vast waterway, which stretches from the Alps in the northwest to the Adriatic Sea on the east coast, is a vital source of water for several regions. Throughout northern Italy, it is used to provide drinking water, irrigate crops, and generate hydroelectric power.
Other rivers are drying up as well. Both the Arno, which flows through Florence and provides tap water, and the Tiber, which runs through Rome, have water levels that are half of what is normal for June.
Italy declares a state of emergency and Italy’s water bans
The regions that rely on the Po River’s water are urging the government to declare a state of emergency.
Andrea Costa, junior health minister, stated that “the conditions necessary to declare a state of emergency have been met” in the regions of Lombardy, Piedmont, Veneto, and Emilia Romagna.
In the midst of the drought, more than 100 towns in the Po Valley have already been asked to ration water overnight. A state of emergency would allow for the implementation of water rationing throughout the affected areas. The Italian government is expected to make a statement in the coming days.
Concerns are also growing for hydroelectric plants, which have generated 40-50 percent less power in recent months. Because of the low river water levels, one plant in Piacenza, Emilia Romagna, has already been forced to temporarily shut down its turbines.
The regional government in Lazio, the region surrounding Rome, has already declared a “state of calamity.”
Water restrictions have been imposed in several municipalities surrounding Lake Bracciano, 32 kilometers northwest of Rome. Water is no longer allowed to be used for washing cars, watering gardens, or cleaning outside patio areas as a result of the new regulations.
The city’s water board is lowering the pressure in the pipes in the capital so that the water supply can be reduced without being suspended.
Travel advice in light of Italy’s water bans
As a result of the drought, there are currently no restrictions on visiting Italy. However, travelers should be on the lookout for additional emergency measures that may be implemented soon.
Water rationing measures are being considered in the northern regions of Lombardy, Piedmont, Veneto, and Emilia Romagna, which would limit water use to essential activities. This could result in a ban on pool filling.
Residents of Villorba, a municipality in the Veneto region, are not permitted to water gardens, wash cars, or fill swimming pools between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. The ban is in effect until September 30th.
Some city councils are considering limiting water use for fountains and water parks. The Italian amusement park association has proposed using filtered seawater at attractions near the coast. Other parks may have to close.
As part of Rome’s emergency measures, public drinking fountains may be turned off, as happened during a drought in 2017.
If water rationing is implemented, drinking water supplies will be suspended during the night.
How long will the drought in Italy last?
Concerns are growing as the drought shows no signs of abating. The summer is expected to be hot and dry, with little rain, and the Po River’s water level is continuing to fall.
Restrictions imposed in the coming days are likely to last for several weeks, if not the entire summer.