The drought crisis in Italy due to higher than normal seasonal temperatures and low rainfall rates is worrying. In Milan, the country’s second-largest city, the municipality has resorted to measures such as closing ornamental pools and banning air conditioners from running below 26 degrees.
Temperatures across Italy in May were 1.83 degrees above the 1991-2020 average. In June, a “red” alert, the highest alert level, was issued in many cities due to extreme temperatures.
Rainfall rates, on the other hand, were even lower than in 2017, when the record for the lowest rainfall since the 1800s was set between January and May.
The water level of the country’s longest river, the Po, has fallen to its lowest level in 70 years. Water use restrictions have been imposed in dozens of municipalities in the Po basin region, which is essential for agricultural production.
Finally, the mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, announced yesterday that he had taken a series of measures against the drought.
Measures such as cutting off the water to the city’s ornamental ponds and closing the fountains that irrigate lawns and green spaces have been taken.
In addition, the municipality asked citizens not to operate air conditioners below 26 degrees Celsius in their homes and workplaces; shops were ordered to keep their doors closed to prevent energy loss.
The Lombardy region, in which Milan is located, has also declared a water use emergency until September 30.
Archbishop Mario Delpini, the highest representative of the Catholic Church in Milan, went to pray for rain yesterday. Delpini made a “pilgrimage” to 3 churches in high drought areas and prayed with the congregation.
The Archbishop also drew attention to the effects of man’s relationship with nature and his way of life and gave the message “to avoid waste and exploitation of natural resources”.
On the other hand, the drought alarm in Italy is not expected to subside in a short time. Stefano Patuanelli, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policy, said: “We expect almost the whole country to become a red alert zone in the coming weeks.
“Regions where the water level of rivers and lakes are declining and water resources are insufficient are expanding,” he said.