Some regions of Italy have been suffering from severe drought for weeks. A drought emergency has now been declared for parts of the country.

Italy’s government has declared a state of emergency due to the severe drought in five regions of the country. The Council of Ministers met in the evening, announced the official residence of Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

The state of emergency applies in Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia in connection with the water shortage until December 31 of this year. This will make it easier for the government to free up funds and resources to combat the effects of drought in the Alpine regions and areas along the Po River. Rome provided the regions with 36.5 million euros.

The state of emergency applies to the areas that are hardest hit by the drought. Northern Italy in particular is currently experiencing severe drought. Large lakes such as Lake Garda have significantly less water than usual at this time of year. The water level in the Po River – Italy’s longest river – dropped so low that salt water seeped into the riverbed for miles at the mouth of the sea. In some places, the level is lower than it has been in 70 years. Cities like Pisa and Verona recently restricted water use. Venice and Milan turned off part of the fountains.

The severity and likelihood of droughts have almost certainly increased in the Mediterranean and other regions of the world as a result of climate change.