Venice’s canals run dry amid fears of new drought in Italy

(CNN) — Weeks of dry winter weather have raised concerns about what Italy could face Another drought Following last summer’s emergency, the Alps lost less than half of its snowfall, according to scientists and environmental groups.

The warnings come as Venice – where flooding is often a major concern – faces unusually low tides, making it impossible for gondolas, water taxis and ambulances to navigate some of its popular canals.

The problems in Venice are due to a combination of factors, including a lack of rain, a high pressure system, a full moon and ocean currents.

Italian rivers and lakes are suffering from severe water shortages, environmental group Legambiente said on Monday, and special attention should be paid to the north of the country.

Italy’s longest river, the Po, which runs from the Alps in the northwest to the Adriatic, has 61% less water than usual for this time of year, it added in a statement.

Last July, Italy declared a state of emergency in the region around Po, which accounts for a third of the country’s agricultural output, after suffering the worst drought in 70 years.

“We are in a situation of accumulated water scarcity from the winter of 2020-2021,” said Massimiliano Baschi, a climatologist at the Italian Institute for Scientific Research CNR.

Venice’s canals have little water so many gondolas can’t go around.

“We need to recover 500 millimeters in the northwestern regions: we need 50 days of rain,” he added.

The water level in Lake Garda in northern Italy has dropped so low that San Piaggio, a small island in the lake, can be reached by land.

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The past 15 days have marked a high degree of cyclonic weather in Western Europe, bringing moderate temperatures usually only seen in late spring.

However, the latest weather forecasts point to the arrival of much-needed precipitation and snow in the Alps in the coming days.

Eden Hayes

"Wannabe gamer. Subtly charming beer buff. General pop culture trailblazer. Incurable thinker. Certified analyst."

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