June 2022

From Piedmont to Lazio, there are many institutional interventions aimed at promoting virtuous models that limit recreational uses and waste, so as to allocate water use as much as possible to the satisfaction of basic needs

A "choral" plan of interventions and virtuous measures to cope with the drought, which has been in the news for the past few days and is now to be considered for all intents and purposes a true national emergency. Throughout Italy, there are many interventions already put in place on a territorial scale, and in particular in the northern regions, which are most affected by the phenomenon, to counter the shortage of water resources resulting from the very low amount of rainfall recorded in recent months.

The watchword is to limit water consumption, rationalizing uses so as to allocate them as much as possible toward agricultural and food, domestic and hygienic purposes. In an increasingly worrisome scarcity regime, the goal is to strongly prioritize basic needs.

For this reason, the various administrations that have intervened to deal with the emergency are reasoning about measures and behavior patterns that limit waste to a minimum, discontinuing "recreational" uses of water as much as possible, trying to place stricter restrictive measures even for the management of swimming pools, fountains, gardens and public parks, and trying to sensitize citizens toward greater prudence in domestic uses.

Among the most active regions and administrations in this regard are Piedmont and Liguria, where several ordinances on the subject have already been issued. In the province of Turin alone, there are about 80 municipalities that have officially intervened to ration water use.

While in Emilia-Romagna, where there is no shortage of virtuous examples such as a recent ordinance issued by the Municipality of Bologna to propose good water-saving rules, the Region has declared a regional state of crisis, a preparatory step to the request for a national state of emergency, accompanying this intervention with the publication of an ordinance addressed to municipalities to direct them toward anti-waste actions.

Moving further south, the region of Lazio has also moved in this direction, with a letter from the presidency sent to all mayors asking them to adopt preventive measures aimed at saving water. The hope, in this case, is to have moved in time to avert the particularly drastic measures taken in 2017, in conjunction with another exceptional drought. Among others, the closure of public fountains and the use of tanker trucks to supply drinking water in some of the capital's neighborhoods.