Bloomberg News

Italy’s Shipping Seen by Farm Union as ’Paralyzed’ by Drought

July 31, 2012

Italy’s drought is hampering commercial shipping as low water levels in the Po, the country’s largest river, force boats to remain moored to avoid collisions and underwater obstacles, farm union Coldiretti said.

The water level has dropped 8.5 meters (27.9 feet) below average at the monitoring station of Canonica d’Adda, about 25 kilometers (16 miles) east of Milan, the Rome-based group wrote in an e-mailed statement today. The river is used for irrigation in the Po Valley, the country’s main corn and rice-growing area.

The lakes of Como and Maggiora are also below average levels, Coldiretti said.

“The exceptional dry has effectively paralyzed commercial navigation,” Coldiretti wrote.

Water levels at Canonica d’Adda were at minus 8.48 meters as of 10 a.m on July 29, according to monitoring by the Interregional Agency for the Po River.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Deane at

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