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Drought: Govt set to declare emergency in 5 northern regions

Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont, Friuli, Veneto

(ANSA) - ROME, JUL 4 - The government is set to declare a state of emergency for drought in five northern Italian regions, sources said Monday.
    Cabinet meeting Monday night under Premier Mario Draghi, on his return from the Marmolada glacier disaster, will declare an emergency in Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto, sources said.
    Italy's drought emergency is spreading from the north to central Italy, the water observatory ANBI said Thursday.
    Water levels in the Po are three quarters down in the worst drought in 70 years but levels of the Arno, Aniene and Tiber are more than half down and over 30% of national crop production is now threatened.
    The epicentre of the drought has shifted southwards but the drought has not eased its grip on the north, ANBI said.
    Recent storms have bumped up the Po level a tad but it is set to fall again in the scorching summer heat, ANBI said.
    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, which is causing massive problems for agriculture.
    Restrictions on the use of water have already been imposed in some areas and many towns are having to have water brought in by trucks.
    In some, water is being closed off completely at night.
    More frequent and intense heat waves are among the consequences of human-caused climate change, scientists say. (ANSA).


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