By Karel Mulder – When you travel to the partner in Rome for a ‘Waterfront Climate SOS’ project, you are focused on your mission: consultation, making project reports, editing case studies. But when you arrive, you find yourself in a severe heat wave. A sweltering weekend with a new temperature record for the month of June on Monday: 40 0C. In general, Rome does not have extreme temperatures, because it is quite close to the sea. But this week the maximums are around 40 degrees every day. Despite the somewhat more heat-adapted lifestyle of the Italians, this will undoubtedly require a considerable number of heat victims. But it doesn’t stop with direct victims. Cries for help have been heard from the Po Valley for much longer. The Po is the longest river in Italy at 650 km. The river is fed by meltwater from the southern part of the Alps and rainwater from almost all of northern Italy. The rain stays off. Because the glaciers of the Alps have become much smaller, and all winter snow has already melted, the current heat wave is not causing much additional meltwater for the Po. As a result, the river is almost dry. Hydroelectric power stations have to close and that is a problem now that the air conditioners are blowing all over the country. Several towns in the Po plain have already implemented water rationing. But the most serious problem is agriculture: it is already expected that the harvest in the Po plain this year will be only 50% of a normal harvest. Rice cultivation in particular will suffer severely from the drought.