Italy declared a state of emergency in five regions over the worst drought in decades

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Italy has declared a state of emergency in five northern regions – Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Piedmont and Veneto – until 31 December over drought in recent weeks which is the worst in decades. The hardest hit area is along the Po River, the longest in Italy,which runs across the northern part of Italy from the Pian del Re of Monte Viso to the Adriatic Sea near Venice and serves more than half the country’s agriculture. „There is no doubt that climate change is having an effect,” the Prime Minister Mario Draghi said.The country is facing an unusually early heatwave and a lack of rainfall. Major lakes dropped.The drought threatens more than 30% of national agricultural production and half of the farms in the Po valley. Some cities rationed the use of drinking water, while Milan has announced the closure of its decorative fountains.

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Hydroelectric power production, which usually supplies 15% of the country’s needs, has fallen. The state of emergency allows compensation for losses and seeks to guarantee normal living conditions. $37.5 million in relief funds were distributed. Further measures could be taken in future to deal with the drought.The crisis comes from three years of drought and warmer temperatures. Prime Minister Draghi also accused “poor maintenance of the basins, poor network maintenance,” linked to about 30 per cent or more water being lost. He calls an emergency plan to be adopted.