BORGO VIRGILIO, ITALY (CBS Newspath) – Large sandbanks have taken the place of the green waters of the River Po.

Italy’s longest river, on Sunday, August 7 experienced the worst drought in 70 years. Now there is a significant reduction in water levels.

The river, which runs for more than 650 kilometers from west to east across the north of the country, is suffering the extreme effects of a lack of winter snow compounded by a baking early summer.

Last month Italy declared a state of emergency for areas surrounding the Po, which accounts for more than a third of the country’s agricultural production in the 30,000 km2 surrounding the river, the largest cultivated area in Italy.