Italian media has unveiled a plan to see Albanian water sold to Italy via an underwater pipeline to a region suffering from water shortages.
Corriere Della Sera published information on the project, which will see water transported from Gjirokaster to Puglia through 85 kilometres of underwater pipes and 120 kilometres of land pipelines. The project is estimated to cost some EUR 1 billion.
“United by the Adriatic Sea, we face Albania, a place very rich in water. We have exceptionally good relations with Albania. We have a great opportunity to address the water crisis. We can bring a big and ambitious project to life. To build an impressive water infrastructure in the Adriatic Sea between Puglia and Albania”, said Sergio Fontana, the president of Confindustria Puglia, which represents Italian companies in Albania.
If realised, the project would take four years to build, transporting 150 million cubic metres of water to Apulia at a maximum underwater depth of 850 metres.
The Italian media reports that the president of the Puglia Region, Michele Emiliano, recently wrote to Prime Minister Edi Rama to express his interest in implementing such a project.
According to Corriere Della Sera, Italy would benefit from this project amid a drought crisis in recent years. Still, Albania would also benefit from the jobs that will be created, which are thought to be around 8,000.
Meanwhile, in Tirana, large swathes of the city do not enjoy running water around the clock. Unless residents install individual deposits, water is only available for around one hour in the morning, one hour at lunchtime and one to two hours in the evening.
The Albanian government is yet to comment on the deal, meaning for now publicly, the project could be a pipe dream.