Record drop in water levels – Lake Garda: tourists and farmers worried about the season – News


The level of Italy’s largest lake has fallen to a record low. While tourism officials warn against being overly concerned, farmers worry about their yield.

Isola di San Biagio is usually only accessible by boat. Now the shallow water passage has become a symbol of the record low level of Lago di Garda. Hundreds of spectators stroll across the lake from the mainland to the small island.

Warning of excessive discomfort

Guests are worried about the photos, says hoteliers association president Yvan de Bigne: “Some customers have asked if it is true that there is no water in the hotels. or at the hotel.”


Many people walk across the lake from the mainland to the small island of Isola di San Biagio.


The Tourism Association wants to reassure guests and warn them against exaggeration. It’s about a lot: With more than 50,000 beds, the region brings in nearly €1 billion annually, according to its own data. The guests would have come anyway, but Yvan de Bigne fears damage to his image: “In the past five months, there has been a wave of articles, pictures and stories on social media, which have all increased, until people think the lake has run out of water, which is wrong.” .

A water tank for agriculture

The dam is located a few kilometers below the lake near Salionze. Here it is determined how much water is taken from the lake and into which irrigation channels it flows. All agriculture in the Mincio River Basin, which originates in Lake Garda, depends on it, as Filiberto Speziali, president of the Regional Irrigation Union, explains: “Agriculture in Mantova depends on Lake Garda to thrive. Water supply, that can be worrying.”

Last year with little rain, the lake saved the farmers’ crop. If this dry year repeats, it will be even more difficult for farmers because the lake was almost at its lowest point, says Speziali. Therefore, everyone will have to take 30 percent less water than in previous years. This is the only way to ensure that the scarce lake water can be used for irrigation until mid-July.

Hotel boss: “The lake will never empty”

For once, farmers and tourists alike are hoping for rain so the lake level will rise. It is currently half a meter below the long-term average. However, the hoteliers’ association president does not believe that there will be a confrontation between agriculture and tourism.

“It will never happen that the whole of Lake Garda will be emptied for irrigation in agriculture. This is unimaginable. But of course we have to find a balance so that agriculture and tourism have a future.” Despite all this reassurance: due to the low water level, tourism experts recommend caution when jumping into the lake.

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