Mafia bosses are stealing water and reselling it at an enormous profit, as Italy suffers its worst drought in decades. In Sicily, police have been forced to guard reservoirs to prevent desperate farmers from stealing what is left of the dwindling water supply. Illegal taps on public pipes are usually poorly constructed, and much of the water ends up dribbling underground rather than irrigating farmland. Experts say southern Italy could become a desert within 20 years unless the rampant theft is stopped. Just last month, police found a network of illegal pipes filling a pond on land belonging to Giovanni “the Pig” Brusca, a Mafia chief. Brusca is currently serving time in jail for murder.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.
Sign up to our 10 Things You Need to Know Today newsletter
A free daily digest of the biggest news stories of the day - and the best features from our website
Women in Revolt! review: a 'bracing' new show at Tate Britain
The Week Recommends Exhibition showcases the largely overlooked feminist art from the UK between 1970 and 1990
By The Week UK Published
The Rest Is: the rise of Gary Lineker's podcast empire
Why Everyone's Talking About Footballer turned presenter now has a 'hat-trick of career triumphs' as his shows 'dominate the charts'
By Arion McNicoll, The Week UK Published
The week's best photojournalism
In Pictures A Santa Claus race, a plane turned hotel, and more
By Anahi Valenzuela, The Week US Published