The Po Valley has a mild continental climate and a humid subtropical climate with annual precipitation about 1,200 mm and the highest rains occur in springs. Upper Po receives more rainfall than Lower Po. The average temperature is about 5°C in high Alps, 5-10°C in medium mountains and 10-15°C in other areas. The total annual water volume is the basin is up to 78 billion m³ which is mainly supplied by rains. Lakes in Upper Po store an amount of 1.04 billion m³.  


Actual evapotranspiration is expected to increase about 3.5 % on annual basis caused by an average 8.3 % increase of precipitation mainly concentrated in winter and an average 1.3 °C increase of mean annual temperature. However, the precipitation decreases remarkably in summers and springs (Ravazzani et al., 2015). The major drought events occurred in the Po river basin in 2003 and in 2006/2007 after a scarcely snowy winter. Floods can affect also the river basin and are more intense in the last section of the river where the water pressure is higher (Water2Adapt Project). 


References and further reading:

Artina et al. (1990) Water resources planning of the River Po basin: a surface and groundwater hydrology study, in: The Hydrological Basis for Water Resources Management 197: 427-437.

Mysiak et al. (2013) Economic impacts of drought on agriculture, in Research Papers, Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici.

Montanari (2012) Hydrology of the Po River: looking for changing patterns in river discharge, in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 16: 3739-3747.

Ravazzani et al. (2015) An integrated Hydrological Model for Assessing Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources of the Upper Po River Basin, in Water Resources Management 29: 1193-1215.

Turco et al. (2013) Variation in discharge, precipitation and temperature in Po River and tributaries basins, Impacts on Soil and Coasts Division.

PRBA (Po River Basin Authority) (2007) Introduction of Po River Basin Authority.

Po River Basin Authority (2013) Vulnerability to drought of  the Po River Basin: Issues and Challenges, www.abdpo.it 

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