A small controversy...
Lately, it has all comes down to water. Who has it, who controls it, how much there is. The reason il Poggiolo became a broken down dump... a completly fallen down dump of stone and bug-infested wood beams ... was because the two natural springs and a marginally artifically one on the property dried up. Yes, all of them. At the same time. Is there a curse? A water curse? The cows had their... which kept the tennants from lugging them water... the fig bush allowed to prosper in the corner of the aia had its own and the third, A + B + C, came by tubes from the hinterlands up and behind us and the Castello di Codiponte. You & I thought there was only one such conduit. When the builder sent his nephew to rebuild il Poggiolo's garden with the latest in ditch-diggers lo' those many years ago... the darn thing could revolve 360 degrees... we came across a hole network of metal water pipes. Some did not even bother to stop on our premises but continued on down to water others. The tennants at il Poggiolo got kind of pissed and decided to move on back to their own stone relic & farm. It had H2O. The rest is history at our effort and expense.
More on that curse. Italy suffered the vogue of privatization. Government needed funds, fresh funds. Privatization was thought the fastest and best way to go about it. The tactic took off with the semi-leftist government selling its industrial gems. Too bad that the government sold it gems to the very same management hierarchy, who then had to leveraged their purchases with bad debt. Typical stunt; keep the gems in the family. Debt does not matter. Ha! Today, Italy is socked with way more bad debt and still no money. One item on the Privatization List was to sell the local water company here in the Province of Massa Carrara. Ecco, Gaia Spa was born. One of the more rank efforts of corruption in the history of this country and one already famous for such boondoggles. I wonder how "boodoggle" translates into Italian? Booondoggle. Just looked it up. The first thing the newly minted semi-privatized company did was to take control of the water. Like a post-Saddam Hussein maneuvre, Gaia went hither & yon ruthlessley cutting and snipping and even digging up every metal, plastic or other type of water pipe not under its direct and absolute control. They did good work.
The populace went nuts. Gardeners, farmers, vegetable growers, la nonna che voleva salvare her thirsty potted plants could not water without submitting to Gaia Spa's bilking them of every Lire they had for their every-three-month water bollette. The populace went even m ore nuts. As a concession, this large group of consumers was allowed by same government, who had ripped them off in the first place, to solicit what on paper would still be considered an illegal tapping of outside water sources so their cows could have a sip of water and so too the otro's zucchine and nonna's potted plants. Quite an explanation, don't you think? I'm not finished, but I am at the essential drop of water.
A kindly neighbor offered to share her illegal but government sanctioned water supply so we could try to maintain the green splendor of il Poggiolo's garden. Fine. Her cute and muscular builder-boy son ran a thick black tube to our property, installed a gloriously butch faucet and away we could water. The deal was synched with a modest payment of Euro 180, a handshake and the arrangement that the neighbor would water in the evening and we in the mornings. A sweet and watery deal. We thought.
Then came our current drought. We have not had a substantial rain... I am sorry to harp on this and have already mentioned my concern in a previous post and get ready... at the rate we are going, I will be harping until there is NO MORE WATER!... for the last 6 years. Especially dry this Summer. Big nasty dry. I watered as we had planned but, less and yet, I would find the tap closed against my knowledge or will. In the AM. It was the neighbor. One day she came to speak with You & I about conserving water. Yes, of course, we said. But the deal is, though there may be little water, if not used, it just runs off. It is not warehoused, interned, stocked, kept apart or, put into a tank, for cryin' out loud. The unused and precious water runs down into the stream, then the Aullela River, follwed by the Magra River and off into the Med-Sea. Fine. I would let that happen if the humidty of said body-of-water would send us an afternoon thunderstorm with not less than a good hour's worth of a downpour. But no. So, as long as there is water, I want to be able to water... in the AM, thank you v ery much. However, the BIg Hitch is... I don't have control. The neighbor does. The End... or nearly.