Po basin drought

Drought means River Po already in worse situation than last year

Environment News

The drought that has brought water levels in the River Po down over three quarters is already worse than last year’s critical situation, the river’s local authority says.

The drought situation in the Po district is not improving. In fact, the most up-to-date data are worse in some cases, when compared to those recorded in the same period a year ago, said a bulletin from the river district authority.

The drought continues to affect the North of Italy, particularly in the Po basin. The indicators that emerged during the meeting of the permanent Observatory on water use “do not show a general better context compared to what emerged thirty days ago”, the bulletin said.

The north of Italy is enduring its worst drought in 70 years.

Urgent provisions for drought prevention

The Council of Ministers approved a decree law last week which introduces urgent provisions for the prevention and contrast of drought and for the strengthening and adaptation of water infrastructures.

The decree introduces specific measures aimed at increasing the resilience of water systems to climate change and reducing the dispersion of water resources.

Among other things, the following are envisaged:

  • a simplified regime for the procedures for the design and construction of water infrastructures which refers to the Pnrr model;
  • the increase in the useful volumes of the reservoirs;
  • the possibility of freely creating rainwater collection tanks for agricultural use within a set maximum volume;
  • reuse of purified waste water for irrigation purposes;
  • the introduction of considerable simplifications in the construction of desalination plants.

These measures will be immediately implemented. In the event of delays or other critical issues in the implementation of individual infrastructural interventions in the water sector, the Control Room activates procedures aimed at overcoming the delays or critical issues that have emerged and can also appoint individual Commissioners.

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