Probe into Rome water authority as capital braced for water rationing.
The president of Rome's water management company ACEA is under a criminal investigation following complaints from the public prosecutor in Civitavecchia about the environmental state of Lake Bracciano, an important source of potable water for the capital.
On 28 July officers from the ecological unit of the carabinieri seized documents relating to Bracciano water withdrawls from the office of ACEA president Paolo Saccani who could face charges of environmental offences.
The investigation comes as the order from the Lazio Region to stop pumping water into Rome from the much-diminished lake takes effect from midnight on 28 July. ACEA had appealed to the Water Court to block the Lazio Region's ordinance however on 27 July the courts ruled that ACEA was responsible for finding solutions to the problem facing the drought-hit capital.
The ruling came three days after ACEA first raised the prospect of turning off the water supply for eight hours a day in rotating districts of the capital. The proposal, which could reportedly affect 1.5 million residents, presents a serious public health risk according to Italy's health minister Beatrice Lorenzin.
Describing the situation as "critical", Italian environment minister Gian Luca Galletti said that Lake Bracciano finds itself in the middle of the "most grave water emergency ever recorded in central Italy."
Photo Corriere della Sera