Italy's government wants to decide on a state of emergency because of the severe drought in parts of the country. On Monday evening, a meeting of the Council of Ministers is planned for this purpose, announced the official residence of Prime Minister Mario Draghi. Accordingly, the government wants to declare a state of emergency for the areas that are most affected by the drought.
Northern Italy in particular is currently experiencing severe drought. Large lakes such as Lake Garda have significantly less water than normal at this time of year.
The water level in the Po River - Italy's longest stream - dropped to such an extent that salt water seeped into the riverbed for kilometers at the mouth of the sea. In some places, the level is lower than it has been for 70 years.
Cities like Pisa and Verona recently restricted water use. Venice and Milan turned off some of their fountains.
The severity and likelihood of droughts have almost certainly increased in the Mediterranean region due to climate change, as well as in other regions of the world.
Heat waves, which then exacerbate the effects of droughts, have become many times more frequent due to climate change. "In the case of heat waves, the link is clear. Here, climate change is an absolute gamechanger; heat waves are becoming a hundred, even a thousand times more likely as a result," said climate scientist Friederike Otto in an interview with the Tagesspiegel newspaper some time ago.
Image by Luis Iranzo Navarro-Olivares