Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Climate change threatens Italy's Po River delta

Terra Daily, via Agence France-Presse: Major changes in water use will be necessary in northern Italy's economically strategic Po River basin because of climate change, the daily Repubblica Tuesday quoted experts as saying.

Rising sea levels, reduced rainfall and lack of snow in the Alps will combine over the next few decades to render the last 100 kilometers (60 miles) of the river useless because of saltwater intrusion, the experts predicted at a meeting in Parma on Monday.

About one-third of Italy's food production depends on freshwater from the Po River basin, according to Coldiretti, Italy's main farmers organisation. Some 73 percent of the 2.5 billion cubic metres of water drawn each year from the Po is used for irrigation in a pattern that experts say is not sustainable.

Farmers will have to use more efficient irrigation techniques and drastically cut back on water-thirsty crops such as rice, corn and kiwi…

No comments: