I wanted to book a holiday in Lake Garda. What is the current situation there?
As of May 5, Lake Garda was 54 cm above zero. To get a value similar to the current one, you have to go back decades. A similar lower water level can already be found in the measurement archives of the 1980s. However, one can now clearly see the consequences of man-made climate change: “In the last two winters, there has been a slight decrease in precipitation, so not as much meltwater has flowed into Lake Garda as in other winters,” he says. Oscar Schwazer, General Manager of Garda Dolomiti SpA – Acienda per il Turismo.
How much water does the lake currently have?
Schwazer explains that in winter the water level is usually 80 to 100 centimeters above zero, and in summer it can drop to ten centimeters. The lake has an average volume of about 50 billion cubic meters and an average depth of 133 metres.
When in summer the water level is sometimes only ten centimeters above zero, is it still possible to swim at all?
The hydrometric zero point is used to regulate the water level. This is an arbitrary value set by the associations that oversee the regulation of the lake. So the hydrometric zero point does not correspond to the bottom of the lake.
Apart from the weather, what affects the water level in Lake Garda?
Lake Garda has been artificially organized since 1949: currently about one percent of the total volume is affected by human hands, because its waters are also used for irrigation in agriculture.
Are there any effects on water quality?
Lake Garda has been checked for water quality six times a year since the late 1980s, explains Giovanna Pellegrini, a biologist and employee of the environmental protection agency of the province of Trento, APPA. In collaboration with the Provincial Health Authority, special attention is given to the suitability of the bathing lake. The current water level has no effect on the quality, Lake Garda is in good shape.
Is it possible to go boating when the water level is low?
“Currently there are no restrictions on tourism due to the water level of Lake Garda,” says Cristina Santi, representative of the Comunità del Garda and mayor of Riva del Garda. Shipping is also currently taking place on Italy’s largest lake according to plan. In the event of continued low waters, Navigarda would use shallow water boats such as B-plane boats, used as a replacement. All water sports can be practiced.
If there is a shortage of water, are hotels allowed to fill their pools at all?
Currently no restrictions are set for hotels and their guests. Only in Riva del Garda were the public fountains closed to raise awareness.
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