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Drought Drops Italy's Po River to Historic Lows

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Drought Drops Italy's Po River To Historic Low, Threatens Crops Across Europe

May 4, 2007 12:08 p.m. EST
Linda Young - AHN Staff Writer

Rome, Italy (AHN) - A severe drought in several European countries is threatening crops and has caused Italy to declare a state of emergency in its northern and central regions a day after France imposed water rationing. Farmers in Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland say it is the worst drought they have seen.

Italy acted on Thursday even as it was beginning to rain in the worst affected areas, saying that the forecasted rain would not make up for the rain deficit in the region.

The lack of rain in many parts of Europe has lowered river levels to historic lows. That includes Italy's Po River, which runs west to east across northern Italy. It feeds the fertile Po Valley where about a third of Italy's food is grown.

The German Weather Service said that April broke records kept since 1901 as the hottest and driest month. Italian officia…