Cruise ships have lead to a water shortage in Palermo
Apparently the needs of tourists outweigh those of the local population. At least that is how residence of Palermo must have felt after they were forced to deal with a shortage of drinking water after it was diverted to visiting cruise ships.
Cruise ships are a common sight in Palermo's port
According to The Local residence of the Sicilian capital were left without access to drinking water in their homes after emergency maintanance work. What made the situation worse was the fact the water was also diverted from two residential area to accomodate cruise ships that were docked in the city's port.
The Local reports that a statment was released on the website of AMAP, the water provider for the region, which read: "Citizens of Palermo are informed that that the water disruptions that have occurred these days are due to the drawing of water by cruise ships in transit through Palermo,"
A report published in the Italian daily newspaper Repubblica stated that Palermo's neighbourhoods of Zisa, Borgo Vecchio and via Notarbartolo were affected by the water shortages on August 23 and 24. Temperatures during that time in the region were said to have reached 31 degrees Celsius (87.8 Fahrenheit).
Another report published in Repubblica claimed that on Agust 21 and 22 hundreds of tons of water were loaded onto cruise ships docked in Palermo. One ship, the Costa Fascinosa, took an estimated 452 tons of water onboard according to Repubblica.
Palermo is the only city in Italy that allows cruise ships to restock on drinking water in while docked in its port. The practice has been banned throughout the country due to water shortages and frequent droughts.
This is not the first time the cruise ships have raised tempers in Italy. Venice is currently in the process of attempting to pass legislation which would ban cruise ships of over 40,000 tons from docking in the city's harbor. The move from the anti-cruise ship protest movement comes as statistics show that Venice has experienced a 400% increase in cruise ship traffic over the last five years. Recent months have also seen the popular tourist destination pass several pieces of legislation aimed at reducing damage caused to the city by the huge influx of visitors.