The worst drought in 70 years: It has not rained in northern Italy for more than 100 days. The hydroelectric power plants are producing 40 percent less electricity. Agriculture expects at least 30 percent less harvest. Rain is not in sight. The Bishop of Milan now wants to pray for this.
The water flow of the Pos has halved within two weeks. Fields can still be irrigated via water pumps. The question - how much longer? The Po is sinking a few centimetres more every day.
Beosrgnising! Satellite images from 2021 and 2022
#DesertificationAndDroughtDay: N. #Italy is experiencing the worst crisis of the last 70 years.- ADAM Platform (@PlatformAdam) June 17, 2022
The @CopernicusEU #Sentinel2 images show the #Po river on June '21 and '22 with worsening of aridity and dry river. #ClimateEmergency #Siccità in #Piemonte da satellite. #watercrisis pic.twitter.com/0qcmuRZZgn
Dramatic shots from above: The bottom picture shows quite clearly how dried out the Po is this summer, especially in the right half of the picture
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In addition to the global energy shortage due to the Ukraine war, the drought is now hitting Italy hard. In Piacenza, the first power plant had to be shut down for lack of water. Hydroelectric power plants are mainly located in the acutely affected north of the country. They normally cover 20 percent of Italy's electricity needs.
Arms of the butt are dried out
The water level on the Po, Italy's longest river, is lower than it has been for 70 years. At Sermide, near Ferrara, one arm has already dried up.- Manuel Oberhuber (@manu_bx) June 22, 2022
The drought continues in the Po Valley for the next 15 days, with highs averaging 34°. 🌡 pic.twitter.com/l6i5IQnuqg
Drone flight over a dried-up Po arm. "At Sermide, near Ferrara, one arm has already dried up," the tweet reads, among other things. (see cover picture)
A state of emergency was declared in Lombardy on Friday. People are supposed to use water sparingly for only the most necessary consumption. The regional government recommends that municipalities refrain from any non-essential water consumption. This includes street cleaning, watering parks, golf courses and football pitches.
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Milan's mayor Beppe Sala announces the first measures via Facebook on Saturday: Except for the drinking water dispensers, all fountains will be turned off. The city will stop watering the green spaces with immediate effect. The mayor calls on people to use energy sparingly.
Rome: The Tiber has low water too
Purtroppo per via della siccità del Tevere, a Ponte Vittorio riaffiorano i resti dell'antichissimo ponte Neroniano pic.twitter.com/loHrL325U1- ciav (@stefanociavatta) June 19, 2022
The low water level has turned up the remains of a bridge built by the Emperor Nero, according to this tweet.
In Piedmont, water is already rationed in more than 200 municipalities. And the trend is rising.
The weather forecast for the rest of the month: still dry and hot. Temperatures are expected to reach around 40 degrees in much of the north. More than 10 degrees above normal.
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first published 25 June 2022
Cover/Montage - Photo: bonottomario/GettyImages via canva.com