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Drought in northern Italy forces communities to ration water

A historic drought is forcing northern Italy to undertake drastic measures, with Lombardy Premier, Attilio Fontana, declaring a state of emergency on Thursday.

Within the regions of Piedmont and Lombardy, 125 municipalities were already limiting or cutting water supply to homes during the night.

Fontana called the situation dramatic, and not just in Lombardy, but also Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, and Veneto.

The measures were warnings by the water and energy provider Utilitalia amid an extreme drought, including in the areas traversed by the Po River, the longest in Italy.

The authority in charge of the river reported the lowest water levels and the worst crisis for the river in 70 years.

In some parts, what used to be a mighty current has been reduced to a trickle.

“The situation is getting worse and worse.

“In some areas it has not rained for 110 days,” Meuccio Berselli, the secretary general of the Po River’s authority, said.

Dozens of municipalities were already relying on water tank trucks, as their own reservoirs are empty.

On Friday, by coincidence the date of the UN’s designated day to combat desertification and drought, an emergency summit would take place in Rome between premiers from northern Italy and Agriculture Minister, Stefano Patuanelli.

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