SHARE
COPY LINK

DROUGHT

Italy drought: No water rationing in Rome

Plans to ration water in Rome amid a prolonged drought have been averted.

Italy drought: No water rationing in Rome
Photo: AFP

The Lazio region had mulled a measure to stagger water supply shutdowns in certain neighbourhoods of the capital for eight hours a day.

The region's rationing threat followed the decision to stop withdrawing water from Lake Bracciano, close to Rome, because it had dropped to such a low level that it risked sparking an environmental disaster.

Acea, the utility firm which runs Rome's water system, had slammed the stop on using water from the lake as “unnecessary” and said last week that the move left it no choice but to cut off supplies to residents.

But after pressure from Mayor Virginia Raggi and Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin, water will flow as normal in the capita – at least until September.

As part of the deal reached on Monday, Acea will be able to keep withdrawing water from the lake, albeit at a low rate, until September, Ansa reported.

The dry spell has deprived Italy of 20 billion cubic metres of water so far this year – the equivalent of Lake Como.

Ten regions across the country have called for a state of emergency to be declared after Italy suffered the second-driest spring in 60 years and rainfall in the first six months of the year was down 33 percent.

After a brief respite, temperatures across Italy are set to creep up again this week, eclipsing 40 degrees Celsius in Sardinia.

Read more: Italy braces for ‘the hottest week of the year'
 

ROME

Body of missing American tourist found in Rome’s River Tiber

The body of a missing 21-year-old tourist was found in the River Tiber on Thursday morning, according to media reports.

Body of missing American tourist found in Rome's River Tiber

Elijah Oliphant, from Dallas, Texas, was on holiday with his family in Rome when he went missing several days ago.

Oliphant’s parents reported his disappearance after he left his hotel room shortly after midnight on May 24th and did not return.

Hotel security footage showed him leaving the premises wearing a white undershirt and pyjama bottoms, which he was wearing when he was found.

Oliphant’s corpse was reportedly spotted by passersby near the Ponte Sisto bridge in Rome’s Trastevere district around 10am on Thursday morning. His body was positively identified by his parents.

Members of the fire brigade and river police who recovered the body say there were no obvious signs of violence, but an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. Trastevere police are reportedly investigating the matter.

The Oliphant family had arrived in Rome for a holiday on May 23rd. When Elijah went missing the following day, his parents launched an urgent appeal to help find their son.

His disappearance was featured on the missing persons television show, Chi l’ha visto (‘Who’s seen them?’) on May 25th.

Several foreigners have been found drowned in the Tiber in recent years, though there are no indication that any of the incidents are linked.

In 2016, the body of 19-year-old American student Beau Solomon was recovered from the river.

Rough sleeper Massimo Galioto was charged involuntary manslaughter in the case, but was ultimately acquitted in 2020.

Prosecutors said that Galioto pushed Solomon in the course of a violent argument. Galioto’s defense team acknowledged that the two had argued but said the student had accidentally slipped.

In May 2019, 37-year-old Imen Chatbouri, a former athletics champion from Tunisia, was found dead in the Tiber after a night out. CCTV footage later showed she had been pushed from the Ponte Sisto bridge.

A then-26-year-old man whose advances she had rejected earlier that evening was convicted of her murder in November 2021.

SHOW COMMENTS