Case Studies: Italy


Although the water crisis affects the whole world, the detrimental effects vary drastically from country to country. Compared to other countries, in the past few decades, Italy has not faced as many hardships requiring limiting water usage. Their water sources are plentiful and often used without the worry of future consequences. Most of the water comes from the Arno and the Po Rivers. These rivers supply thousands of people with safe drinking water; however, at times, certain sectors of the economy, such as the agricultural industry, overuse the water and create a lack of water supply for the population.


Even though Italy's current water situation is very stable, Italy could face problems in the future. For example, most cities in Italy have public water fountains that are always running. After water is dispensed from these fountains, it runs into storm drains. Water which could easily be recycled and used for watering lawns or bathing; but instead, the water goes to waste. Moreover, these types of ineffective water systems are prevalent within most European countries. Some efforts to change the fountains have been made, but since the fountains have historical value, they will not be changed anytime soon.

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As a result of the impracticalities in the Italian water infrastructure, Italy has attempted to fix certain aspects of their water systems. In 2007, minor regulations were imposed on urban cities in Italy; they were told to implement new systems for the public water fountains in place to limit the loss of water into storm drains. With the new restrictions, each fountain requires new expensive drainage systems where the water is recycled and then re-filtered as tap water in public areas. In addition, the fountains are turned off from 1:00 am to 3:00 am on school days.

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