- Italy’s worst drought has caused the country’s largest Lake Garda to reach its lowest water level in decades.
- As a result, underwater rocks became visible and the water temperature warmed to the average temperature of the Caribbean Sea.
- Northern Italy has received very little rainfall for months, and snowfall has decreased by 70% in 2022, drying up important rivers such as the Po, which flow through Italy’s agricultural and industrial regions.
- The dry condition of Italy’s longest river, the Po, caused billions of euros in damage to farmers who usually depend on it to irrigate their fields and paddy.
- Authorities allowed more water from Lake Garda to flow into local rivers to make up for the damage.
- But at the end of July 2022, they reduced the amount for the lake and its associated economically important tourism.
- The lake came to its lowest level with a large amount of water diverted to the rivers.
- Drought is generally thought of as a decrease in rainfall/precipitation over an extended period, usually one season or more, resulting in water scarcity that adversely affects vegetation, animals and/or people.
- It is based on the degree of dryness or lack of rainfall and the long dry spell.
- It is based on the effect of rainfall deficit on water supply such as stream flow, reservoir and lake levels and decline in groundwater level.
- It refers to the impact on agriculture by factors such as lack of rainfall, lack of water in the soil, low ground water level or the level of reservoir required for irrigation.
- It considers the effect of drought conditions (meteorological, agricultural, or hydrological droughts) on the supply and demand for certain economic goods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and meats.
- Variability in rainfall is a major cause of drought. The percentage of variability is inversely proportional to the total rainfall.
- Deviation in the course of monsoon winds, or early withdrawal of monsoon, can also create drought conditions in an area.
- Drought can also occur due to forest fire, due to which the soil of that area becomes unsuitable for agriculture and at the same time there is a shortage of water in the soil.
- In addition to climate change, land degradation results in increased drought.
- Saving, reusing treated water, rainwater harvesting, desalination or direct use of seawater for salt-loving plants.
Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR):
- Enabling growth of native sprout trees through selective pruning of shrubs.
- Trimmed tree residues can be used to provide mulching for fields, which increases the water retention capacity of the soil and reduces evaporation.
- To protect the soil by fencing for soil protection from sand, wind gusts etc.
- Need for enrichment and over-fertilization of soil.
- Using water-efficient irrigation equipment such as micro and drip irrigation, soccer hose systems, etc.
Government of India Initiatives:
- Integrated Feed Management Program
- National Mission on Green India
Desert Development Programme:
- It was started in the year 1995 to reduce the adverse effects of drought and rejuvenate the natural resource base of the marked desert areas.