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Venice waterways dry up as Italy braces for another year of severe drought

After a winter with little snowfall, it seems more likely that Italy will experience another year of severe drought. This raises concerns about reduced crop harvests, water supplies, and hydropower.

The Alps have seen less snowfall than usual, and the water levels at Lake Garda, northern Italy, have dropped to records. This has made it possible to walk to San Biagio, the small island, via an exposed pathway.

Venice, on the northeast coast, is experiencing unusually low tides that make it difficult for water taxis, gondolas, and ambulances to navigate the canals.

Not only is Venice experiencing problems because of the lack of rain but also due to a high pressure system and full moon, as well as sea currents.

Image Last summer, underwater rocks were discovered in Lake Garda.
Image Last year’s worst drought along the Po exposed riverbed

This dry winter comes after an extraordinary drought that struck Italy last year, causing it to declare a state emergency in critical agricultural areas around the Po river.

Half of the water in hydropower reservoirs evaporated from olive trees, and they were left with a lot of dead leaves.

Although parts of Italy are now recovering, some areas in the north remain in drought. They suffer from very little rain and dry soils according to the European Drought Observatory.

According to Legambiente, only a third of Italy’s longest river, Po, which runs from the Alps in northwest Italy to the Adriatic has water that is normal for this time.

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In 2021, a lot of the northern hemisphere was hit by an intense drought.

For the past 15 days, an anticyclone has been dominating weather in western Europe. It brings milder temperatures than what is usually seen in spring.

Forecasters predict that there will be much-needed snow and rain in the Alps over the next few days.

According to the World Weather Attribution group, climate scientists, the Mediterranean drought is becoming more severe and likely due to climate breakdown. However, it is not responsible for all global droughts.

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