Italy Earns Top Rank in Water Quality

Il Parco in Caserta in Campania Il Parco in Caserta in Campania

Italy’s water quality remains one of the best in the world, according to a recent report by Yale University. The report, titled the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), ranks 186 countries in the world on various environmental issues and conditions. 

Italy ranks 16 for total Environmental Performance, an improvement from the country’s baseline rank of 17. In comparison, the U.nited S.tates ranks 27 for total Environmental Performance, a two-rank improvement from their baseline rank of 29. 

In most areas, Italy remains above average in rankings like biodiversity, air quality, and total carbon dioxide emissions. One area where Italy consistently scores the highest is water quality, specifically water sanitation and drinking water. According to the EPI official website, drinking water quality is scored from “…the proportion of a country’s population exposed to health risks from their access to drinking water” and sanitation quality scored from, “the proportion of a country’s population exposed to health risks from their access to sanitation.” Italy’s score for both categories is 100%, indicating they have the best drinking water and sanitation. Although ranked the highest, Italy shares the number one ranking with eight other European countries.

Italy’s clean drinking water provides many benefits for its citizens and tourists. An interesting feature of Italian cities are public drinking fountains known as “nNasoni” which are scattered throughout tourist-heavy cities like Rome. Nasoni provide free and clean drinking water from local fresh water sources like mountains. 

Although Italy’s water quality is almost perfect, the availability of water decreases as the growing effects of climate change continue. According to a 2017 article by the Telegraph, Rome turned off its nNasoni due to a long-lasting summer drought. Additionally, the European Commission’s science and knowledge service predicts that southern European countries like Italy will experience more droughts that will lead to water scarcity. 

As Italy experiences uneven shares of droughts and extreme flooding, their fresh water supply could be in danger. While Italy’s water quality remains the best, the country is still facing many challenges as part of the global climate change crisis.