The 650-kilometre-long River Po runs through Italy’s heartland, an area known for being responsible for 30% of the country’s food production.
The area has been hit by the worst drought in 70 years which means the area is facing a crisis.
The Po is usually fed by snow in the Alps during the winter and heavy rainfall in the spring. This winter didn’t produce the usual amount of snow and the rainfall expected in spring was a big disappointment.
According to the European Space Agency, the Po is hitting record low water levels.
A farmer along the banks of the river Mantova, a side river fed by the Po, is scared that things are about to get even worst.
Simone Minelli’s dairy farm needs water to feed his herd of 300 Friesian cattle.
His milk cows produce 30 litres of milk each day which is transformed into this region’s authentic Parmigiano Reggiano parmesan cheese. If his cows don’t each drink between 100 and 150 litres of water a day or are overheated, the milk won’t meet the rigid standards, and the cheese won’t be given the coveted seal of approval, he told CNN.
The river Po’s levels are going down further which could lead to water restrictions, a major concern for the entire area.
Image credit: River Voyages