In Sicily the theme of drought is added to that of the management of the dams: «Inadequate hydraulic interventions, non-existent maintenance and ghost testing, colander pipelines, theft of cables and plants, lack of interconnections between the provinces». To launch yet another alarm is the spontaneous Committee that brings together 19 of the largest wine cooperatives on the island: Colomba Bianca (president Dino Taschetta); Petrosino (Vincenzo Ampola); Cva Canicattì (Giovanni Greco); Santa Ninfa (Filippo Murania); Kaggera (Franco Maiorana); Cantine Paolini (Gaspare Baiata); Chitarra (Giacomo Manzo); Settesoli (Giuseppe Bursi); Avanti (Nicola Lazarino); Riesi (Salvatore Chiantia); Casale (Rocco Curatolo); Ermes (Rosario di Maria); Cellaro (Nino Guasto); Birgi (Giuseppe Monteleone); Fiumefreddo (Salvatore Orlando); Sant’Antonio (Aldo Vaccaro); Europa (Nicolò Vinci); Rinascita (Antonino Spezia); San Francesco di Paola (Giuseppe De Luca).
The water deficit that we find ourselves to face – the presidents emphasize in chorus, met in videoconference – demands a maximum attention from the Government, so like is happening for various regions of the North. We ask the president of the Sicilian Region to send a request for a declaration of the state of emergency for drought. The situation is now irreversible: it is necessary to speed up the infrastructural interventions with extraordinary means and powers, to save the salvageable».
The 26 dams in Sicily are in disastrous conditions, the annual average temperatures continue to rise and, despite the abundant winter rains (this year the trend has been positive), there is no continuity of irrigation to guarantee the good health of the vineyards, as well as all other crops: In addition to the damage comes the joke: a few weeks ago we had already denounced the spilling into the sea of the water of the Trinity Dam (Castelvetrano, Trapani), due to bureaucratic misalignments and lack of checks; now they have also stolen wires, Electric switchboards and hydraulic pumps (in the Trinity and Garcia dams, see photo attached), also canceling the hope of using the remaining cubic meters of water. We are in alarm – the representatives of the wineries continue – we need to irrigate the fields to get to the harvest without too much stress for the plants, with consequent difficulties of maturation that could lead to irreparable losses for the sector. The agricultural cooperatives, moreover, demand also that the long-awaited reform of the drainage consortia is started and that there is a single direction in order to modernize the regional net: The priority, in our opinion – they continue – is that of the collectors between the provincial dams, in order to avoid that the entire system can be put in crisis.
Then we must put an end to the season of the commissariamenti, reorganize the competences on the water management (to today bounced from an office to the other), to establish a permanent unit of crisis that puts together cellars, trade associations and mayors of the territory and use the staff of the Forestry as hydraulic police in order to prevent water theft. We and our farmers know the territory more than anyone else, we would just like to be called into question to try together to find the most suitable solutions, avoiding the disasters that are on the horizon».