On Wednesday, Tuscany became the first central Italian region to declare a drought emergency. This follows on from the five northern regions last week.
Tuscany becomes the sixth Italian and first central region to declare a drought emergency.
“We have declared a regional state of emergency and we will follow the procedures to make sure that, through a national state of emergency, the rapidity of these interventions in the most delicate areas of our region will be recognized,” said Governor Eugenio Giani.
The volume of the river Arno, which flows through Florence, Empoli and Pisa, is down by more than half. Also affected in the centre of Italy are the rivers Tiber and Aniene.
Water levels in the River Po are three quarters down in the worst drought in 70 years. The effects causing massive problems for agriculture, with farmers groups saying output is set to fall by about a third.
Government state of emergency
Premier Mario Draghi’s government on Monday declared a state of emergency for drought in five northern Italian regions – Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto.
The government has set aside €36 million for these regions. It is set to appoint a special commissioner with extraordinary powers to tackle the crisis. The commission will also address issues regarding Italy’s water infrastructure.
The current heat wave has exacerbated the nation’s drought crisis that comes after months of low rainfall and an extremely dry winter. Italy’s civil protection department has failed to rule out water rationing during the day because of the drought.