Officina Magazine
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Summer 2022, no Olympics but the primacy is still entirely Italian

Climate change during last Italian summer

Last summer in a few weeks, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 would have started, the games which would have enhanced the name of Italy all over the world. This year Italy did not get gold medals from Tamberi and Jacobs’ performances for example, nevertheless the Italian boot still boasts titles of distinction. It is a matter of mere primacy and not merit. In fact, the distinction concerns catastrophic events caused by the ongoing climate change.


The first thing to be considered is the dramatic river Po’s situation

Po has the greatest water flow in Italy and it is also the longest one of the country. In 2022 70% less snow during the winter, four months without rain and temperatures from 3 to 4 Celsius degrees above the average for the period, as noted by Meuccio Berselli of the Po River District Basin Authority, negatively affected the course of water that quenches a large part of the country and allows companies to keep their production chain active.

The river has lowered more than 3 metres and the situation is so dramatic to predict the rise of the sea. The level of brackish water is insanely high despite the summer has not ended yet: this is caused by the rise of the bit that exceeds thirty kilometres, another record that approaches.

Even though more than a quarter of the national territory, about 28%, is at risk of desertification, no one seems to worry about the imminent crisis of producers of foodstuffs from agriculture and livestock, of companies that deal with planting and aesthetic care of gardens, of water bottling businesses or of enterprises on hydroelectric energy.

The only measures taken are contained in the DPCM Drought, which provides for the “red zone” for the northern regions, a new figure that will set the operational lines for the allocation of funds and their earmarking. This is just on paper.


The awareness occurred only last July the 4th

On this day an 80 metres high, 200 metres wide and 60 deep portion of the Marmolada glacier detached causing 11 deaths and missings and 7 injuries. The Italian Prime Minister during his stay in Canazei, a town near the site of the natural disaster, said:

“This is a drama that certainly has some unpredictability, but it certainly depends on the deterioration of the environment and the climatic situation. The Government must reflect on what has happened and take measures so that what has happened has a very low probability of happening and indeed is avoided”.

More than two weeks have passed and nothing has moved yet, indeed there are cases of inefficiency, the promotion of capitalism and multinationals to the detriment of citizens.


Do we only need legislative activity to tackle climate change?

Surely to encourage new irrigation techniques in order to revive the agricultural sector, funds and laws will be necessary to obtain drip systems and water absorbing pumps.

We could also avoid thinking that when the water runs out on the tarre there will be Coca-Cola to quench our thirst, but also to renegotiate the amount of water it withdraws from the Italian aquifers, which have not undergone cuts during the water crisis, we need laws.


What could be done in practice is the maintenance of the urban and suburban water network of the country

As registered from ISTAT, losses can occur between withdrawal, introduction and distribution in municipal water networks and represent a worrying phenomenon, considering how crucial this resource is. The leakage figure is constantly increasing: Istat recorded 37% of the total water introduced into the distribution network as losses in 2012, which increased in 2015 to 41% and which today is close to 50%.

Although this last option seems very practical, a regulation is needed that foresees the allocation of public funds to manage the maintenance of the water network.

Using water sparingly and moderately is what private citizens can do. To radically change the situation, we have to wait for the intervention of the state, of which, however, let’s remember, we are also part.