Several reports by Meteotrentino prove that the last two years have been warmer and drier: 2019, for instance, has been the second warmest year ever recorded (after 1850), and Trentino has registered temperatures higher than 1.5 – 2 °C, if compared to the period 1961-1990. The year 2020 has not been different: monthly data show higher temperatures (particularly in the Fall) and lower precipitation as well as the first months of 2021. In particular, March 2021 has been characterized by particularly strong winds and zero precipitations. This inevitably translates in the global warmer and drier climatic regimes happening worldwide, meaning that Trentino is no different than other areas .
Withstanding the complexity of the situation, we need to envisage a versatile strategy that takes into serious considerations the weather patterns while posing alternatives to catching water from sources commonly used in irrigation and perhaps making irrigation more sustainable (for instance, by making crops more efficient). One viable solution could be the use of crops which are less greedy of water or promote the use of varieties that require less irrigation. Irrigation, on the other hand, must be efficient through the use of digitalization and the conversion to sustainable methods (drip irrigation, micro-irrigation and precision irrigation). A complex strategy like this must be based on funds and agreements between the different stakeholders but above all on instilling an education in the public and private sector, acting also on the younger generations. The European Common Policy (CAP) can surely be the way to make it happen. While farmers consider irrigation to be sustainable when it provides uninterrupted access to water resources at a price not exceeding the marginal revenue that they generate (clearly without accounting for environmental externalities), from the standpoint of water resources, irrigation is sustainable if it does not deplete freshwater stocks or environmental flows . It is thus crucial to take into account the strong link between territory and agriculture, as expressed by ecological status of the waterbody and the hydraulic risk.