The Aeolian archipelago, to the north of Messina in Sicily, is suffering a more severe water shortage than usual. During July and August the resident population of 12,120 permanent residents increases to about 100,000, and the supply of fresh water has been delivered for many years from the mainland by ship, a service subsidised by Italys central government. However, the last centre-right government drastically reduced the subsidy as part of its budget cuts. As a result Sicilys right-wing regional government, together with the Aeolian islands local administration, is now having to decide who pays for the transport of water just when the summer tourist season moves into high gear.