Monday, 24 July 2017

Rome hit by water rationing as Italy struggles with prolonged drought

Almost two-thirds of Italy's farmland has been hit by a prolonged drought, costing Italian agriculture some €2bn ($2.3bn; £1.8bn), farmers say.

Dairy farmers and those growing olives, tomatoes and wine grapes are among the most affected, farmers association Coldiretti warns.

Rome faces eight hours a day without running water after a halt was ordered on pumping water from a nearby lake.

A state of emergency was earlier declared in two northern provinces.

In southern Italy, hundreds of people were evacuated earlier this month, as firefighters battled wildfires.

Coldiretti warns that 60% of farmland is threatened by the drought caused by low levels of rainfall and made worse by a heatwave.

Wine grapes and olive production are suffering throughout much of Italy, amid concerns that a poor harvest could push prices up.

Reports say that milk production has fallen in several areas as cows suffer in the heat.

At least 10 Italian regions are preparing requests to the agriculture ministry for a state of natural calamity to be declared because of the drought, Italy's Ansa news agency quotes sources as saying.

BBC    News.