Rome, July 2 - Italy must be more cautious with its water use or risk running dry, a national water and irrigation group warned Monday. Although Italy has enjoyed "substantial precipitation" in recent months that will assure the country won't face drought this year, the longer-term picture is more cloudy, said the National Association for Remediation and Irrigation (ANBI). Research by Kinsey & Co. has calculated that about 140 litres of water exists for each Italian, who actually uses much more than that - on average, about 180 litres per day. Put another way, Italy's per-person supplies are lower than many other countries, such as the 3,300 litres per day available in Australia and 2,200 litres per day in the United States. Spain, which has a similar climate to Italy's has available about 1,100 litres per capita, said the president of ANBI, Massimo Gargano, who called for a national water-reservoir plan. That could include finding ways to conserve rainwater for future use. Such data "confirms the water deficit and the continued fragility of our ecosystem," he added. Italy's water deficit is leading to sharply reduced water reserves which could eventually jeopardize the country's agriculture sector and its overall economy, said Gargano.
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di Giovanni Pastore