Drought grips northern Italy. Source: https://www.copernicus.eu

Where is the flow of the river Po?

The River PO is known as one of the most important rivers in northern Italy, flowing, as if carefully drawn with a ruler, from west to east; from the Alps to the Adriatic Sea (652 kilometers), and empties into the delta near the city of Venice.

Well, this week, the media have echoed that it has presented a flow so low that its people can walk without getting wet and sunken ships appear.

This is the worst drought that this region has suffered in its last 70 years, with a more than significant reduction during the spring and an increase in temperatures in recent weeks (two degrees above the usual averages in the area).

And this drought makes those who live from agricultural production suffer and there is already talk of completely destroyed crops such as the “late tomato” or other vegetables that cannot even be planted without irrigation. Between 30% and 40% less melons and watermelons and 50% corn and soybeans are expected to be harvested due to problems, as well as in the harvesting of rice, which represents 50% of the country’s production.

Stefano Patuanelli himself, Minister of Agriculture, has stated that the declaration of a state of crisis is “inevitable”


For what is this?

According to a report published in March by the Copernicus World Drought Observatory, the severe drought in northern Italy and the PO River basin in particular is related to a persistent lack of rainfall since December 2021.

Severe rainfall deficits and low snow accumulation (40% below average 2009-2021 conditions) in the Southern Alps have contributed to low-water rivers. Drying of rivers in the area has made large swathes of the riverbed visible, so much so that a World War II-era German tank recently resurfaced.

Drought grips northern Italy. Source: https://www.copernicus.eu
Drought grips northern Italy. Source: https://www.copernicus.eu

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