Drought in Italy: data on the most affected areas and targeted interventions

The first global map, published in the journal Environmental Research Letter, speaks clearly: drought in Italy is a critical problem

Drought in Italy: the situation is critical, given that our country is among the 21 areas of the world where water availability is becoming a serious problem. This emerges from first global drought map, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The causes of the scarce availability of water in Italy are mainly two: theirrigation for agricultural use and climate change. A significant gap between human demand for water and the availability of this resource characterizes the 21 areas identified as drought hotspots. Italy belongs to the area with the highest number of hot spots: as many as eight out of 21. In these areas, including the great alluvial plain of Northern Chinathe Central Valley of Californiathe highlands of the western United States, the White Nile Valley in Sudan, and the Nile deltaagricultural use of water is the main cause of water stress.

Drought in Italy: data on the most affected areas and targeted interventionsDrought in Italy: data on the most affected areas and targeted interventions

Drought in Italy: causes and interventions

In addition to agriculture, other factors that contribute to the poor availability of water in Italy are: demographic growth and the decrease in precipitation. The impact of the drought is already significant and is expected to worsen in the future. Consequences include:

  • Reduction of agricultural production;
  • increase in food prices;
  • risk of water rationing;
  • damage to ecosystems.

A commitment from all sectors of society is needed to sustainably manage this precious resource. Here are some concrete actions to take:

  • Reduce the use of water for irrigation: invest in more efficient irrigation technologies and adopt agricultural practices that reduce water consumption;
  • promote water reuse: treat wastewater to make it usable for irrigation or other non-potable purposes;
  • protect natural water resources: avoid pollution of aquifers and rivers, and preserve wetlands;
  • raise awareness among the population of the importance of saving water: encourage people to adopt daily behaviors that reduce water consumption.

Addressing drought in Italy will be a major challenge in the coming years. It is essential to act now to protect water resources and ensure a sustainable future for future generations.

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