Saturday, May 05, 2007

No Po, Yes Bad

Don't worry, be happy! Nothing to see here folks just move along. You say they've reduced the price on that SUV you've had your eye on? Getting a little warm in here honey...why don't you crank that air conditioner down another notch.

ROME — Italy declared a state of emergency in northern and central regions on Friday due to fears of drought following unusually warm and dry weather.

Farmers have been fretting as Italy’s largest river, the Po, has dried up in recent months. The river, running west to east across northern Italy, feeds the broad Po valley which accounts for about a third of the country’s agricultural output.

Environment Minister Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio said the state of emergency had been declared as a precautionary measure. It came a day after neighbouring France imposed water rationing in several of its regions, also in fear of drought.

Italy’s hottest winter in 200 years meant snowfall was light in the Alps, with little snow-melt to swell the Po. Then a hot, dry spring set in, with temperatures in April approaching levels usually seen in June.

If you are unfamiliar with the Po river, it feeds the area in Italy famous for such things a Parma hams, Parmigiana Reggiano cheese and a hundred other great food products of Italy.

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