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The water level on Italy’s Lake Garda falls to a 15-year low – Science-Environment News – Report by AFR

Paddle boats lie far from the water and the flat slabs of stone around the Sirmione peninsula have been exposed after droughts reduced the level of Italy’s Lake Garda to a 15-year low.

Italy’s largest lake, a major tourist destination amid mountains in the north of the country, is suffering like many from months without rain.

“We are currently 30 centimeters (12 inches) above (benchmark) hydrographic levels,” compared to an average for this time of year of between 80 and 100, said Gianluca Ginepro, head of Garda Unico, which promotes the lake.

This is the lowest level since 2007, when official figures said the level had dropped to 9.9 cm.

“It’s a situation to keep an eye on, even if from the point of view of using the lake – like windsurfing, sailing – there’s no problem,” Ginepro told AFP.

Tourism is holding up well, he said, although operators of trips across the lake have switched from hydrofoils to catamarans.

He also said that “the ability to provide water for agriculture has decreased”.

Farmers are also affected by the lack of water in the Po River, which runs through northern Italy and is suffering from the worst drought in 70 years.

But the problem extends beyond Italy, as land across Europe has been parched due to a lack of rainfall and oppressive temperatures due to climate change.

Several other European countries have not only reported record temperatures during the recent heat waves, but also reported low water levels in rivers.

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