Verona is rationing drinking water consumption because of the persistent drought in Italy. Due to the weather conditions and their consequences for the water supply, the mayor of the city signed an ordinance “that limits the consumption of drinking water for private purposes,” said the website of the city of 250,000 on Saturday.
It is therefore prohibited until August 31st to use drinking water to irrigate gardens and sports facilities, to wash cars and to fill swimming pools. Failure to comply with the ban could result in a fine of up to 500 euros.
Similar measures have already been enacted in other cities in Italy; Verona is the largest city so far.
Like other European countries, Italy has suffered from an unusual heat wave in recent weeks, while there has been no rain at the same time. The agriculturally important Po Valley in northern Italy is experiencing its worst drought in 70 years. According to the country’s largest farmers’ association, Coldiretti, the drought is threatening more than 30 percent of the country’s agricultural production and half of the Po Valley’s livestock. Parma ham is mainly produced there.
The water level of Lake Maggiore and Lake Garda is significantly lower than usual for this time of year. The Tiber, which flows through Rome, also has low water.
Another consequence of the drought: Electricity generation from hydropower fell significantly. Hydroelectric power plants are mainly found in the mountains in the north of the country. They typically provide almost a fifth of the electricity needed in Italy.