Under the plan, the Italian committee for economic planning and regional authorities are to survey areas at greatest risk by the end of May. The government will re-evaluate budgets of various ministries available to combat desertification and will re-allocate funds if necessary, according to junior environment minister Valerio Calzolaio.
According to a recent study by environmental group Legambiente, an increase in temperature of 2-3.2 degrees centigrade over the next century due to global warming would cut available water resources from a current 6.3bn cubic metres (m3) to 5.1bn m3 by 2100 in Sicily. The temperature rise would also seriously jeopardise the region's citrus crop industry by increasing water salinisation.
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