The Venetian plain is a densely populated area and one of the most economically competitive regions in Europe. Therefore, a sustainable management of the water resources has to be accomplished to preserve both the social and economic value of this area and the regional environment in accordance with the European water policy directives. This paper presents the analysis of hydrologic and hydrogeological water balances of the high alluvial plain (approximately 790 km2) highlighting some important peculiarities that could be crucial for the local water policy. By focusing on the importance of different water budget components, the obtained results indicate in the irrigation the most relevant component of the aquifer recharge. Thus, the irrigation management policy of the Land Reclamation Consortia strongly influences aquifer recharge. Moreover, future scenarios (2071–2100) for the high Venetian plain are performed taking into account the changes of climate and irrigation policy. The inflow of the aquifer suffers a decrease ranging from 18% in the scenario influenced by climate change to 28% in the scenario affected by both the variations. In particular, the irrigation recharge shows the highest reduction due to both an increase in evaporation, owing to an increase in the surface temperature, or the irrigation methods. Therefore, the irrigation management policy adopted by the Land Reclamation Consortia is a fundamental concern. Changes from surface irrigation to spray or drip irrigation could strongly affect the aquifer recharge. The classical technique of surface irrigation is very useful in terms of aquifer recharge in comparison with drip or spray irrigation. However, it also requires a huge volume of water compared with the minimum desirable streamflow of a river and its management policy. Currently in Italy, the transition from conventional irrigation systems to water saving techniques is favored by the Land Reclamation Consortia in response to European and Italian directives. However, the possible reduction of the aquifer recharge could influence the actual social and economic condition of the Venetian plain because the human and industrial water needs are mostly dependent by groundwater exploitation. Therefore, water saving activities should be accompanied by appropriate corrective actions to reduce the environmental and social impact due to the decrease in aquifer recharge.

Does a change of irrigation technique impact on groundwater resources? A case study in Northeastern Italy

FABBRI, PAOLO;PICCININI, LEONARDO;POLA, MARCO;
2016

Abstract

The Venetian plain is a densely populated area and one of the most economically competitive regions in Europe. Therefore, a sustainable management of the water resources has to be accomplished to preserve both the social and economic value of this area and the regional environment in accordance with the European water policy directives. This paper presents the analysis of hydrologic and hydrogeological water balances of the high alluvial plain (approximately 790 km2) highlighting some important peculiarities that could be crucial for the local water policy. By focusing on the importance of different water budget components, the obtained results indicate in the irrigation the most relevant component of the aquifer recharge. Thus, the irrigation management policy of the Land Reclamation Consortia strongly influences aquifer recharge. Moreover, future scenarios (2071–2100) for the high Venetian plain are performed taking into account the changes of climate and irrigation policy. The inflow of the aquifer suffers a decrease ranging from 18% in the scenario influenced by climate change to 28% in the scenario affected by both the variations. In particular, the irrigation recharge shows the highest reduction due to both an increase in evaporation, owing to an increase in the surface temperature, or the irrigation methods. Therefore, the irrigation management policy adopted by the Land Reclamation Consortia is a fundamental concern. Changes from surface irrigation to spray or drip irrigation could strongly affect the aquifer recharge. The classical technique of surface irrigation is very useful in terms of aquifer recharge in comparison with drip or spray irrigation. However, it also requires a huge volume of water compared with the minimum desirable streamflow of a river and its management policy. Currently in Italy, the transition from conventional irrigation systems to water saving techniques is favored by the Land Reclamation Consortia in response to European and Italian directives. However, the possible reduction of the aquifer recharge could influence the actual social and economic condition of the Venetian plain because the human and industrial water needs are mostly dependent by groundwater exploitation. Therefore, water saving activities should be accompanied by appropriate corrective actions to reduce the environmental and social impact due to the decrease in aquifer recharge.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3186391
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