VIDEO. Deserts of Italy: a tourist guide on the damages of drought

Milan, 25 Oct (askanews) – A collection of images of the Italian territory eroded by the lack of water give life to the “Tourist Guide to the Deserts of Italy”, a real vademecum, both printed and digital, with tourist information and suggestions. an initiative-provocation – presented during a meeting in Milan – born in the context of “Water in our hands” of Finish, a social responsibility project that for three years has seen the company engaged in campaigns against water waste as well as in specific interventions to safeguard and protect water resources in Campania, Sicily and Puglia. “The meaning of this initiative, of a ‘Tourist Guide to the Deserts of Italy’ is precisely to stimulate and create awareness on the problem of drought in Italy and on the damage it causes to our territory which is desertifying over time – explains Margherita Pizzul, Category manager of Finish and head of the “Water in our hands” project – It was born as provocation to lead the consumer to ask himself ‘but why a tour guide’. So the goal is to create curiosity on the subject and then allow us to deepen it. “The photos, as beautiful as they are shocking, are the work of Gabriele Galimberti, winner of the World Press Photo in 2021. Galimberti with his collaborator Camilla Miliani went through from North to South all of Italy documenting and recounting rivers that have become trekking paths, lakes that have become expanses of arid stone, glaciers that have become pastures: in short, landscapes that no one would expect to see in our country. “Looking at the photos, they may also seem like beautiful places – says Gabriele Galimberti – Or fascinating places, such as the desert in Egypt or the Grand Canyon: those who look at them find themselves in front of wonderful places. But in Italy we don’t need places like this. There have never been, it is a new phenomenon, and not a beautiful one. We have treated it with the filter of provocation and those who browse the guide will realize this quite clearly. “Italy is a country exposed to desertification for over 20% of its territory, with peaks that see 70 at risk. % of the surface of Sicily, 57% of Puglia, 58% of Molise and 55% of Basilicata. But the numbers, however significant they are, rarely succeed in triggering a strong reaction from the community. therefore better awareness of deeper and – in practice – more diligent uses of the water resource. “The challenge we make with this Guide aims to encourage the people who will browse it to become more and more aware of how much water we use every day and to learn how to save it . These places are emptying and becoming arid for two reasons: one is climate change which must be curbed in some way; the other is the daily water consumption which is too high “. A series of images, the” Guide to the Italian Deserts “, which Finish therefore proposes as a renewed invitation to become aware that even with small actions everyone can help save precious resources . “The consumer can act – reiterates Margherita Pizzul – He can stop, take note and change his water supply and therefore return resources to the territory”. The images created by Gabriele Galimberti will also become the subject of a photographic exhibition and content of further awareness-raising projects value of the water resource promoted by Finish. The “Water in our hands” project in which the idea of ​​the “Tourist Guide to the Deserts of Italy” is developed in recent years has developed a deep commitment on the theme of protecting the water resource, with concrete interventions on the territory aimed at supporting agriculture and fighting, thanks to targeted actions and the support of technology, dese It is precisely with this in mind that some initiatives have recently been presented to support the planting and cultivation of the olive tree, a plant that is fundamental for maintaining the correct environmental balance and a natural barrier against desertification. The intervention, carried out in Puglia – among the regions with the greatest risk of desertification – saw the direct planting of over 500 trees resistant to the Xylella bacterium in land that is now disused due to desertification and a water monitoring intervention of the crops on a total of 500 hectares distributed in the province of Brindisi, which will guarantee annual savings (considering the 20 weeks of the summer season) of over 150 million liters of water. Technology will play a crucial role in supporting this intervention. In continuity with what has been done in the past, in fact, the “Daiki” technology of SmartIsland was installed, a Sicilian startup selected in 2021 as part of a dedicated Call for Startup, which is able to detect, from the moment of planting, data climate and water useful for monitoring the water needs of plants, managing the irrigation supply and preventing diseases, but everyone, each in their daily lives, can make a concrete contribution to help better use, and therefore safeguard, the water resource. For example, using a fully loaded washing machine and dishwasher, reusing water and wetting flowers and plants with water used for other purposes, watering fields and gardens in the evening and avoiding rinsing dishes by hand before putting them in the dishwasher. A simple gesture that contributes to saving 38 liters of water with each wash and that has determined important results in the preservation of the water resource in recent years.Today, among the owners of dishwashers – about 17 million in Italy – there is a significant improvement in the percentage of those who no longer rinse their dishes by hand before putting them in the dishwasher (33%), with an increase of 3% compared to 2021 and 7% compared to 2020. All this translates into an increase of a further 600,000 families who they chose to adopt this behavior (+1.300.000 families in two years). Therefore, with a water saving of 38 liters at each wash, by calculating the average use of the machine in a week (4.56 times3), an additional saving of over 5.3 billion liters of water is determined in a year ( 11.3 billion in two years), which corresponds to the impressive figure of approximately 2,100 Olympic swimming pools (4,600 in two years).

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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