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Rome announces water rations due to 'extraordinary drought'

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Rome announces water rations due to 'extraordinary drought'
File photo: faberfoto/Depositphotos
13:14 CEST+02:00
Rome's water provider has responded to the continued drought in the capital with new measures that will see a reduction in water pressure at night from September onwards.

Residents of Italy's capital have been told they will see their water pressure reduced from next month. 

Romans will have to get used to water rations it seems because of "the persistence of an extraordinary drought," announced provider ACEA in a statement on Monday. 

A 30 percent reduction in rainfall compared with the last three years has forced the operator to take the measures "to guarantee continued service to residents." 

In order to regulate supply and ensure water levels in key reservoirs remain adequate, the water distributor announced it will reduce pressure in most areas of Rome in "the night hours" throughout the month of September. Residents living on higher floors of buildings will be most affected.

"By implementing these measures, water may be lost on the high floors of buildings and in the most disadvantaged areas," said the provider. 

Since May, more than 1,300 leaks have been fixed in the capital but the real issue is the reduction of Rome's water sources and aquifers.

There is less water than expected in Lago Bracciano, one of the largest in the province, 32 kilometres outside of Rome.

In July, city and regional authorities quarrelled over how much water Rome could take from the lake. At the time, authorities had said that there would be no rationing. 

Italy's largest daily Repubblica reports that up to 20 individuals have been arrested by local and forestry police for illegally drawing water from and polluting the lake. 

Key aqueducts have also seen a reduction in water levels. The Pescheria-Capore waterway, one of the city's main watercourses, "is heavily limited by 80-year-old infrastructure." The reduced pressure at night will affect more than 90 neighbourhoods in Rome and Fiumicino. 

Rome is not the only Italian city suffering water supply problems because of prolonged drought.

Last week, residents in Palermo were told water provision had been suspended by the provider because transiting cruise ships had taken hundreds of thousands of litres for passengers. 

Ten Italian provinces called a state of emergency due to drought and rising temperatures this year after the second hottest spring in 60 years and a summer of record temperatures.

Firefighters have been called to put out wild fires more than 80,000 times since June 2017. 

READ MORE: Rome begins crackdown on bad behaviour at Trevi fountain

 

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