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Water level at Lake Garda: Experts give information

Lately, the reports about the low water level at Lake Garda are increasing. But how is the current situation on site actually to assess? Experts from the Garda Trentino region currently provided information in a press conference.

Recently, the reports about the low water level of Lake Garda are increasing; the effects of the drought in Italy are becoming visible. Measurements show: the water level of Lake Garda has decreased.

With an area of 370 square kilometers, Lake Garda is the largest inland body of water in Italy. Towns like Malcesine, Limone, Bardolino, Sirmione or Riva del Garda, in short: the entire Italian region around the lake invites you to vacation – especially many water sports enthusiasts like to make use of it.

The concern about the water level of Lake Garda is great: compared to last year, the level has visibly decreased

But the concern for the body of water is currently great. The reason: water shortage – a problem that already occurred in 2022, now continues this year. At the beginning of last year, there was already too little rain in northern Italy, followed by a heatwave summer. This had an impact on the water level of the lake, which fell more and more.

For this reason, the Tourist Board Garda Dolomiti SpA, the Environmental Protection Agency of the Province of Trento and the Mayor of Riva del Garda, who is also the representative of the Municipal Association “Comunità del Garda”, clarified the current situation.

In the last two years, not as much meltwater has flowed into Lake Garda as in previous years

When asked about the current situation on Lake Garda, Oskar Schwazer, general manager of Garda Dolomiti S.p.A. – Azienda per il Turismo, replied that in the last two winters there has been “slightly less precipitation”, therefore “not as much meltwater has flowed into Lake Garda as in other winters”.

Nevertheless, “some figures just reported by the media on the water level of Lake Garda are not interpreted correctly”, Schwazer said. Normally, Lake Garda has a total volume of about 50 billion cubic meters and an average depth of 133 meters, at the moment there is “about one percent less water”, he said.

Italy’s largest lake, he said, serves as a freshwater reservoir, recreational and leisure destination, but also as an irrigation base for agriculture extending into the Po Valley. How high or low the water level at Lake Garda is depends “among other things, on regulatory measures”, he said.

The water level at Lake Garda depends – also – on the artificial regulation measures

Already since 1949, Lake Garda has been artificially regulated, Schwazer continued; currently, about one percent of the total volume is influenced by human hand. Schwazer: “In the regulation of the water level is worked with the so-called “hydrometric zero point”. This is an arbitrary value set by the consortia that oversee the regulation of the lake.”Approaching hydrometric zero does not mean that Lake Garda will soon be empty, he said.

Dr. Giovanna Pellegrini, a biologist and employee of APPA, the environmental protection agency of the Province of Trento, assured the press conference that Lake Garda has been tested six times a year for water quality since the late 1980s. In this context, special attention has been paid to the suitability of the lake for bathing, in collaboration with the Provincial Health Department of Trento.


Lake Garda water level: Riva del Garda
© Garda Dolomiti AG


The water quality of Lake Garda is currently not suffering from the low water level

The current slightly lower water level has no impact on quality, Lake Garda is in good condition, Pellegrini added.

Dr. Christina Santi, representative of the municipal association “Comunità del Garda” and mayor of Riva del Garda, said: “Currently there are no restrictions on tourism due to the water level on Lake Garda”. Shipping is operating as scheduled and all water sports can be practiced.



The good news is that all water sports can still be practiced

Despite the current relaxed situation, Oskar Schwazer, General Manager of Garda Dolomiti S.p.A. – Azienda per il Turismo (Destination Garda Trentino), stressed the importance of conserving resources and at the same time being socially and environmentally sustainable.

“In the Po Valley, large investments are being made in modern irrigation systems, which were installed in the Garda Trentino region as early as 2003. The so-called drip irrigation is 85 percent more resource efficient compared to conventional irrigation methods”, Schwazer said.

Water sports enthusiasts, vacationers and travelers can get daily updates on the current situation at Lake Garda at First-hand data is listed here, such as water levels and quality or possible restrictions. Navigarda, the operator of public ferry and boat services, provides information on current operations.

SeaHelp operates a base in Tremosine on Lake Garda with a fast 200-hp console boat

A fast, robust, yellow-painted response boat from SeaHelp, the leading organization that has been providing roadside assistance and other services to European recreational boaters on the water since 2005, will also be available at the port at Lungolago V. Olcese 16 to 18 in Tremosine / Brescia for operations throughout Lake Garda from June 1, 2020.

In an emergency, the seven-meter long open console boat, equipped with a powerful 200 hp Honda outboard engine, can be called at 00435043112
or simply be called on channel 16.

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