A state of emergency was declared in five regions of Italy. The reason is a persistent and extreme drought due to a rarely experienced lack of water. The drought is particularly extreme in the north of the country and around the Po River.

Italy’s government has declared a state of emergency due to the severe drought in five regions of the country. The Council of Ministers met on Monday evening, announced the office of Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

The state of emergency in connection with the water shortage applies in Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia until December 31 of this year. This will make it easier for the government to free up funds and resources to combat the effects of drought in the Alpine regions and areas along the Po River. Rome provided the regions with 36.5 million euros.

The state of emergency applies to the areas that are hardest hit by the drought. Northern Italy in particular is currently experiencing severe drought. Large lakes such as Lake Garda have significantly less water than usual at this time of year.

The water level in the Po River – Italy’s longest river – dropped so low that salt water seeped into the river bed for miles at the mouth of the sea. In some places, the level is lower than it has been in 70 years. Cities like Pisa and Verona recently restricted water use. Venice and Milan turned off part of the fountains.

The severity and likelihood of droughts have almost certainly increased in the Mediterranean and other regions of the world as a result of climate change.

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