Summers in Italy are pretty hot. Even more so in recent years, due to climate change, summers are drier and drier and we are getting into situations of drought which of course are bad for plants and cultivations. This summer there have been over 100 consecutive days without any rain!

In practical terms this means ruined/burned crops and lots and lots of fruits and nuts being wasted since they fall on the ground way before they are ready – because the trees don’t get enough water to support them all. Some farms – especially those which focus on just one type of produce – are risking bankruptcy with a loss of 70-80% of what they expected to collect!

Collecting rain water is definitely not a widespread practice as most people have been used (spoiled) to always having plenty of water – that was the case in the past – so even farmers are lazy and they tend to use tap water to water the fields, not caring about using too much of it. The same counts for citizens with their Jacuzzi, swimming pools or even just their water-flushing toilets that waste 10 liters of good, drinkable water every time you flush (we use composting toilets – see the ‘Eco Living’ page on our main website). They don’t care of how much water they use, they don’t question if they could possibly use less and save some of it, they don’t care where it comes from and how much availability there is in practice; they just use it, pay the bill and stay blissfully ignorant. Unless, like this year, when water stops coming out of the taps and many towns declare emergency state because the mountain sources they feed from have dried up; then they all panic but still don’t do much about it.

Of course, a big share of the responsibility is to be assigned to those who have managed and manage the water distribution system and aqueducts which, according to official statistics, disperse 40% of the water they are supposed to carry, because those infrastructures have lacked proper maintenance for such a long time. Of course, with the water having been privatized some years ago, those companies care more about always making more money than fixing problems and providing service to the population.

In order to be more prepared for next summer, as we usually do, we are doing things our own way and not waiting for anyone to rescue us: at the Sanctuary of Joy we have installed plumbing on both buildings (the house and the workshop) that collect rain water into tanks so we can re-use that in summer. Not sure about the neighbor’s – but our own field is the one that feels greener (and sustainable)!

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