TOPSHOT - This picture taken on July 2, 2022 in Rome shows a tourist river boat sailing near the Vittorio Emanuele II bridge, as the low water level of the river Tiber reveals an ancient bridge built under Roman Emperor Nero (Bottom R). (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

Due to the escalating drought crisis in Italy, Verona has severely restricted the use of drinking water. Until August 31, this may only be used during the day for eating, personal hygiene and cleaning in the household. From 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. it is forbidden to water gardens and sports fields, wash cars and fill swimming pools, as the new mayor Damiano Tommasi decided in an ordinance over the weekend. Failure to do so can result in penalties of up to 500 euros.

Activities are permitted at night, i.e. from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., but the city is asking its citizens to refrain from doing so. Mayor Michele Conti also signed a similar order in Pisa: From July 11, drinking water may only be used in the household in the city in Tuscany, which is popular with tourists.

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Italy is suffering from the most severe drought in decades, many rivers such as the Po have had the lowest water levels in more than 70 years. In a number of communities, especially in the north, people have had to save water for weeks, and tankers are being used in many places to fill up the water reservoir. Cities like Milan have already turned off the water in large wells.