Wherever Water May Rome
Ten out of 20 regions across Italy face a state of drought emergency due to a dry spell this past spring followed by extreme summer temperatures. The issue has challenged the country’s most populated area to come up with solutions.
Rome has experienced lower-than-average rainfall for the past two years. As a result, authorities recently planned water rationing for the capital, which would involve shutting off water supplies for up to eight hours a day. In unity, the Vatican vowed to turn off 100 fountains – an action that has never occurred in its history.
The water rationing plans have been averted at least until September due to pressure from Mayor Virginia Raggi and Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin. Raggi’s main concern is for the effect water rationing may have on the environment while Lorenzin worried for hospitals and the sick. After receiving criticism, Raggi decided to begin shutting off 2,500 drinking fountains as an alternative measure.
Another measure is for Acea, a leading multi-utility firm, to withdraw water from Lake Bracciano at a low rate. The lake supplies eight percent of Rome’s water and has sunk nearly 5 feet, according to The New York Times.
Authorities consider that the city-state’s aged water supply infrastructure and speculated water theft are other causes for diminishing water supplies. Rome may have to work on different types of solutions in order to survive the ongoing drought.