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‘The impact is enormous’: farmers in Sicily struggle to survive amid worst drought in 30 years

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Euronews or enjoy below:

🗞️Driving the news: Farmers in Sicily are enduring their worst drought in 30 years, with losses surpassing €1 billion
• The region saw only 150 millimeters of rain in the latter half of 2023, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency
• This severe drought is threatening the island's agriculture-dependent economy

🔭 The context: Sicily relies heavily on winter rainfall to replenish its water supplies, which are stored in aquifers and reservoirs
• Climate change and inadequate infrastructure maintenance have drastically reduced water availability
• Fragmented water management further exacerbates the crisis, leading to significant inefficiencies

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The Sicilian drought highlights the broader impacts of climate change on agriculture, stressing the need for resilient farming practices and better water management
• This crisis also underscores the vulnerability of southern European regions to climate-induced water shortages

⏭️ What's next: If the situation does not improve, Sicily may face unavoidable water restrictions, affecting both agricultural and drinking water supplies
• Young farmers are increasingly abandoning their ancestral lands, which could lead to long-term economic and demographic shifts

💬 One quote: "The impact is enormous, compounded by that of previous years... It's a genuine impending catastrophe," said Donatella Vanadia, a vet and agricultural company owner

📈 One stat: "Since 2003, Sicily has seen rainfall reductions of over 40%, significantly lowering reservoir water collection," according to Giuseppe Luigi Cirelli, a professor at the University of Catania

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change

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