Sicilian Region requests state of emergency from Rome due to drought.

The regional government led by Renato Schifani has requested a national state of emergency for the water crisis. This decision was made during the latest council meeting in response to the long period of drought and significant reduction of water reserves throughout Sicily. The aim of the measure, which now needs to be approved by the Cabinet, is to ensure drinking water for citizens and water supply for the agricultural and livestock sectors, as well as for businesses involved in construction projects on the island.

“The drought in Sicily is becoming dramatic,” says Schifani. “The Region has already implemented a series of actions to mitigate the crisis, helping the productive sectors and limiting inconvenience to citizens, but urgent state interventions are also needed to work on water supply networks and systems, and to raise awareness among citizens to use the resource more rationally. In addition, tax and contributory reliefs, moratoriums, and suspension of obligations are needed for businesses in the agricultural and livestock sector that are in serious difficulty.”

A report from the regional civil protection agency outlines short and medium-term interventions to alleviate the crisis, including reducing water consumption, actions on reservoirs, information campaigns for water conservation, efforts to secure alternative resources (such as mobile desalination units and ships with desalination modules), purchase of tankers and silos for distribution in public places, use of wells and springs, repair of water networks, modernization of desalination plants in decommissioned sites in Porto Empedocle, Paceco-Trapani, and potentially also Gela. The cost of short-term actions is 130 million euros, while that of medium-term actions is 590 million euros. In recent weeks, the Region had already declared a water crisis for both drinking water and agricultural-livestock use, appointing two commissioners. Procedures for measures totaling around 5.5 million euros have been initiated for the affected productive sectors, including relief from consortium fees and administrative simplification measures. An regional water usage observatory has also been set up to constantly monitor the state of reservoirs and water reserves.

Siccità, la Regione Siciliana chiede lo stato di emergenza al governo di Roma

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