Drought-hit Rome narrowly avoids water rationing
Drought-hit Rome narrowly avoids water rationing.
ROME (Reuters) – Rome narrowly avoided water rationing on Friday after a deal between the regional government and the city’s water company defused a row over drawing water from a drought-affected lake.
Taps had been due to run dry for 1.5 million Romans for up to eight hours a day from Monday, and Mayor Virginia Raggi urged the central government to intervene.
Authorities had banned utility firm from drawing water from nearby Lake Bracciano, which is running low following weeks of minimal rainfall and unusually high temperatures.
It is good news for everyone!
But we will not let our guard down," Raggi, a member of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, wrote on Twitter.
Rome’s water woes have taken on a political edge, with Raggi’s opponents accusing city hall – the biggest shareholder in ACEA – of ignoring the building drought crisis.
By keeping water running in one of Europe’s most popular tourist cities, Rome had avoided "making a dreadful impression internationally", Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti said.
But now, he said, the city must fix its decayed and ruptured pipes, which leak about 40 percent of the water they carry.
Even though rationing has been averted, the government could still consider declaring a state of emergency for the area, in response to a direct request from Raggi, Galletti added.