Saturday, July 29, 2017

Rome -Drought-hit, taps to run dry for 8 hours a day

Jul 29 2017 : The Times of India (Chennai)
In drought-hit Rome, taps to run dry for 8 hours a day

The mayor of Rome urged the government on Friday to intervene to prevent water rationing in the drought-hit Italian capital.Taps will run dry for up to eight hours a day from Monday for 1.5 million Romans after authorities told utility firm ACEA to stop withdrawing water from a nearby lake.
Lake Bracciano is running low following weeks of only minimal rainfall and unusually high temperatures. “It would be unacceptable to deprive Rome of water,“ mayor Virginia Raggi, a member of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, sa id in a statement. “The government must intervene with the instruments at its disposal.“
Wildfires have torn across parts of southern Italy and reached Rome's coastal fringe earlier in July , a month in which rainfall has been 72% down on normal levels, according to Sky Italia's weather TV channel.
The centre-left government said it was reviewing Raggi's request and would make a decision in coming days. The surface level of Lake Bracciano, about 30km north of Rome, has dropped by about one metre, revealing dry sand spits.
The lake supplies roughly 8% of Rome's water needs and ACEA says that if it is taken off the grid, it will have to impose rationing.
“I am most concerned about water for hospitals, care homes, medical centres and, last but not least, to supply the fire service,“ Raggi said.
Rome's water woes have taken on a political edge, with Raggi's opponents accusing her and the 5-Star of ignoring the gathering drought crisis.
The government has already declared a state of emergency because of drought in the northern provinces of Parma and Piacenz.

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