- Title: Rome risks water rationing as drought-hit lake set to go offline
- Date: 26th July 2017
- Summary: ROME, ITALY (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF ROME ROOFTOPS
- Embargoed: 9th August 2017 16:33
- Keywords: Rome water crisis prolonged drought Lake Bracciano water withdrawal water rationing wildfires
- Location: LAKE BRACCIANO, ROME, NEAR ASCOLI PICENO AND TORPE, SARDINIA, ITALY
- City: LAKE BRACCIANO, ROME, NEAR ASCOLI PICENO AND TORPE, SARDINIA, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Environment
- Reuters ID: LVA0026RCUZPJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Authorities have ordered a halt to pumping water out of a lake near Rome following a prolonged drought, a decision that could force city officials to impose water rationing in the Italian capital.
Local authorities and representatives of Acea, the utility firm which runs Rome's water system, are holding a series of meetings as they race to find a way to prevent rationing.
Nicola Zingaretti, the head of the local Lazio region, which is centred on Rome, said last week that the ban on withdrawing water from Lake Bracciano would come into force on Friday (July 28).
Acea has said that two years of lower-than-average rainfall have dramatically reduced water levels in reservoirs feeding the city, with a prolonged, ongoing heat wave making matters worse. But Acea attacked the order to turn off the taps at Bracciano, which is some 30 km (20 miles) north of Rome, saying the region had taken a "unilateral and illegitimate" decision.
An Acea spokesman told the national Ansa news agency that the drastic reduction of the flow of water into the capital's water network would force the firm to introduce a rigid rotation of supplies that would impact 1.5 million Romans.
Zingaretti said only 8 percent of Rome's water came from Bracciano, adding Acea had the time to find a solution.
Earlier this month, Acea started to close the drinking fountains that dot the city in an effort to safeguard supplies. Since then there has been no letup in above-average temperatures, with 2017 likely to be one of the hottest years on record in Italy.
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