Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

South Korea: 'Time running out to prevent a nuclear N. Korea'

Read more

FOCUS

Was Chilean poet Pablo Neruda murdered?

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: To 'Joon Moon' and back

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Japan's stocks on record winning streak after Abe's election victory

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

The pine cone line: A train ride through rural Provence

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

David McAllister: 'EU involvement in Catalonia could set a precedent'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Glyphosate: Should the EU re-authorise the weedkiller chemical?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A piece of history: Five former US presidents gather for hurricanes fundraiser

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Chic hotels and horse races: Calais tries to shed its 'Jungle' image

Read more

Italy

‘Drastic’ water rationing looms for Rome as drought blights Italy

© Andreas SOLARO, AFP | A woman looks at an empty fountain in St Peter's Square, in Vatican city, after the Vatican authorities decision to turn off some of the 100 fountains due to a drought affecting Rome, on July 25, 2017.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-07-25

Some of the driest weather to affect Italy’s in 60 years and Rome’s notoriously leaky pipes has left the city’s residents fearing water rationing.

Italian media is reporting that staggered water supply shutdowns could last as long as eight hours daily in alternating neighborhoods and start as soon as Wednesday.

La Stampa newspaper reported on Sunday that inadequate water infrastructure, often decades-old, ranged from 26 percent in the north to 46 percent in the central and southern parts of the country.

Nicola Zingaretti, the governor of Lazio region -- which includes the Italian capital -- ordered that no more water be drawn from Lake Bracciano, which supplies some of the Italian capital. She stated that this was due to the drastically decreasing water levels posing a threat to the lake’s aquatic life. The lake used to be used only for backup water supply, but recent years have seen it being tapped on a regular basis.

Water turns political

Rome’s water company Acea warned that with the lake now cut off, drastic rationing loomed.

Since the city of Rome is a major shareholder in Acea, populist 5-Star Movement Mayor Virginia Raggi is feeling the heat. Michele Meta, a Democratic party lawmaker from Rome, demanded to know why Acea "doesn't have other solutions besides rationing and staggering the capital's water" supply?

Causing further concern for the city’s key tourism industry, Rome's world famous fountains – such as the iconic Trevi Fountain -- also risk running dry. Vatican City has already said that it is shutting off its fountains — including those in the world famous Saint Peter’s Square — as a result of the drought that has left rainfall totals 80% below normal.

Disaster for farmers

Despite the severe infrastructure issues, Mother Nature is partly to blame. Rome has had only 26 rainy days in this year's first six months of this year, compared to 88 in the first half of 2016.

Farmers' lobby Coldiretti last week estimated 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion) worth of damage so far to Italian agriculture due to the crisis. Among those suffering are farmers growing canning tomatoes in the southeastern region of Puglia, wine grapes throughout much of Italy and those cultivating olives -- all signature crops for the nation.
 

Date created : 2017-07-25

  • ITALY

    'Five Star' party candidate to become Rome's first female mayor

    Read more

  • ITALY

    Rome's new mayor refuses to back 2024 Olympics bid

    Read more

  • SOMALILAND

    Reporter’s notebook: Somaliland and the never-ending drought

    Read more

COMMENT(S)