Water tankers to fight drought in south Italy


Hundreds of water tankers across Italy will be mobilised from the army, forest service and local firefighters to build a "mobile aqueduct" to the country's drought-ridden south.

In advance of an emergency government plan to be revealed next week, Agricultural Minister Giovanni Alemanno said that providing water to residents would top the government's actions.

The government will aim to build "a veritable mobile aqueduct toward the south" to combat the chronic problem once again facing the southern regions of Basilicata and Puglia and the islands Sicily and Sardinia.

With a traditionally dry summer just beginning, farmers across southern Italy are already severely short of water after winter rains produced only two-thirds of the annual average.

In addition to the lack of rain, the national agricultural confederation has also faulted what it says is a decaying distribution system which may be responsible for wasting up to 30 or 40 per cent of potable water, sometimes reaching peaks of 60-per cent wastage.