Drought in Agrigento observed special. Schifani: “Protecting the tourist season”

A permanent table to monitor daily water supply in Agrigento and its coastal area and intervene promptly on any critical issues, especially in the tourism-hotel sector. This was decided this morning (June 20, 2024) during the emergency water crisis meeting convened by the President of the Sicilian Region, Renato Schifani, with the aim of accelerating every possible action against the risks related to drought effects.

“I immediately wanted to create an emergency table on the water crisis in Agrigento,” said the President of the Region, “to provide quick answers to the city, especially in view of the just started tourist season. The goal is to prevent the situation from deteriorating and also to avoid the negative effects of alarmism that can be amplified, creating serious damage to the economy and the image of the City of Temples and the entire Sicily. My government will follow the work of this table daily, providing support and everything that will be necessary, but everyone must take their own responsibilities and work diligently from tomorrow to solve the problem immediately and then for structural solutions in the medium and long term.”

At the summit held at Palazzo d’Orléans, the headquarters of the Region’s presidency, there were also the head of Civil Protection, Salvo Cocina, the Energy councillor, Roberto Di Mauro, the mayor of Agrigento, Francesco Micciché, the representatives of Aica – Water company of Agrigento municipalities, Ati, Siciliacque, the extraordinary commissioner of the Sicilian western irrigation consortium, Baldo Giarraputo, the general secretary of the River Basin Authority, Leonardo Santoro. In video connection, also the prefect of Agrigento, Filippo Romano.

During the meeting, it was reiterated the need to immediately proceed with the execution of those short-term interventions that will ensure a greater water supply, thus avoiding the worsening of the scenario during the peak tourist season. The President of the Region and the head of the Civil Protection department guaranteed immediate financial coverage, already provided for in the six million euros allocated to address the crisis in Agrigento, and any possible need for advance payments, and invited Ati and Aica to immediately start the works without further delay. The two entities will have to identify with precision further interventions for which financial coverage can be provided. Cocina also ensured funding for the purchase of two readily available tanker trucks and light vehicles suitable for reaching the streets of the historic center.

“Today we reassured the Agrigento entities that these works can start immediately,” said the regional councillor for Energy and public utility services, Roberto Di Mauro, “to give relief to Agrigento and its coastal area. Thanks to the Civil Protection ordinance with which six million euros have been allocated, Aica, which is the implementing body, can proceed as early as tomorrow. Within 40 days, we will have about 116 liters of water per second more, the first 60 liters can already arrive within 20 days with two immediate execution interventions on a new well and two existing ones.”

Regarding the desalination plant of Porto Empedocle, the President of the Region communicated that in the bill on budget variations, under discussion in the regional parliament, there is an allocation of one million euros that will allow the project planning of the plant. The work is part of the long-term solutions along with a detailed work plan already included in the Civil Protection ordinance that allocated resources to the City of Temples. For the agricultural sector, it emerged that the Western Sicily irrigation consortium is meeting agricultural organizations to agree on the distribution of available water resources, while for the zootechnical sector, the tankers, also found through the municipalities, will ensure water to livestock.

The permanent table established at the Civil Engineering department will include Civil Protection, the Municipality of Agrigento, the Prefecture, representatives of Aica, Ati of Agrigento, Siciliacque, irrigation consortium, River Basin Authority and all the other entities involved in water resources management.

Siccità, Agrigento osservata speciale. Schifani: «Mettiamo al riparo la stagione turistica»

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