Waste Not, Want Not

LUCA BRUNO/AP

GRIM HARVEST: A farmer surveys his parched field in northern Italy

The mighty Po is looked upon in northern Italy almost as a god. Populist political leader Umberto Bossi still comes to its banks each September to scoop water into a small glass chalice that he carries to Venice in a curious homage to the country's longest river. But this summer the Po is looking meager. There has been no significant rainfall in the region since April, and with July water levels at their lowest since record keeping began in 1912, the Italian Confederation of Farmers is warning that corn and rice harvests in the north could drop by up to 40%,...

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