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Sound and independent information
on the environment

Italy

Freshwater (Italy)

Why should we care about this issue

Topic
Freshwater Freshwater
more info
ISPRA
Organisation name
ISPRA
Reporting country
Italy
Organisation website
Organisation website
Contact link
Contact link
Last updated
03 Jan 2011
Content license
CC By 2.5
Content provider
ISPRA
Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 13 Apr 2011 Feed synced: 03 Jan 2011 original
Key message

Part C - Italy - Commonality (April, 23 2010)- Care

Italy receives a quantity of rainwater significantly above the European average, but because of uneven distribution both in space and time, rainfall does not provide for either uniform use or reserve. The differences in latitude and elevation between northern and southern Italy produce considerable differences in climate and average rainfall. Also, because the rivers are  mostly relatively short, when abnormal rainfall concentrates in short periods  this causes rapid flows of water towards the sea, preventing storage in water courses, lakes and subsoil, and resulting in the loss of enormous quantities of water. Furthermore, the increased use of water by industry, agriculture and households  is depleting groundwater reserves, emphasising the need  to  avoid resource pollution and  wastage.

The state and impacts

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 13 Apr 2011 Feed synced: 03 Jan 2011 original
Key message

Part C - Italy - Commonality (April, 23 2010) - State and Impacts

Figures

Figure 1

Distribution of the classes of the SECA quality index, 2007.
Data source
http://www.sense.sinanet.isprambiente.it/Plone/freshwater/arpa-appa-data-processed-by-ispra
Figure 1
Fullscreen image Original link

Figure 2

Distribution of the SECA quality index by macro-region, 2007
Data source
http://www.sense.sinanet.isprambiente.it/Plone/freshwater/arpa-appa-data-processed-by-ispra
Figure 2
Fullscreen image Original link

The ecological status of rivers is evaluated by the SECA index obtained by integrating chemical-physical and microbiological data (LIM) with the results of the Extended Biotic Index (EBI). It is expressed by five classes: high, good, moderate, poor and bad.

In 2007, of 1,014 points monitored, 48 % were classed as good or high (Figure 1).

Regional variations in 2007 were not regarded as critical. Of the 572 stations in Northern Italy, 55 % were good or high, as were 41 % of the 392 stations in Central Italy and 48 % of the 50 stations in Southern Italy and the Islands were classed as good.

In 2007, as in previous years, the macrobenthic community (EBI) played a greater role in determining the SECA than did the chemical-physical macro-descriptors.

The ecological status of lakes (SEL) index evaluates their different trophic states. In 2007, 73 % of 148 stations covering 134 lakes were classified as moderate, good or high.

In 2007, based on the monitoring of waterways and lake areas designated as being suitable for fish (Dir. 78/659/CEE), 96.2 % of the river segments examined and 100 % of the lakes were found to be suitable.

 

For a detailed treatment of topics addressed above, see key topics at

http://annuario.apat.it/capitoli/Ver_6/en/Water%20quality.pdf

 

The key drivers and pressures

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 13 Apr 2011 Feed synced: 03 Jan 2011 original
Key message

Part C - Italy - Commonality (April, 23 2010) - Drivers and pressures

Water is a resource subject to multiple and widely varying forms of pressure, as a result of massive human settlement, elements of the production system, including services, small and medium size industry (SME), large-scale industry and the sectors of the energy, agricultural and livestock industries.

The intensive use of fertilisers in agriculture can potentially have an impact on aquatic life.

The quantity of fertilisers placed on the market in Italy rose by 22.1 % between 1998 and 2007 (ISTAT, 2007). The national figure for the year 2007 exceeded 5.4 million tonnes, of which more than 3 million tonnes were mineral fertiliser.

 

As far as plant care products (pesticides) are concerned, the quantities placed on the market in the period 1997-2006 fell by 10.8%. In 2006 more than 149,000 tonnes were sold, with 78.8 % of the total being unclassifiable products, and the remaining 21.2 % classified as highly toxic.

One of the main reasons that supports the demand for innovative technologies and processes in water purification is the need for it to meet the increasingly stringent limits fixed by EU directives, and national or regional measures.

Italy’s treatment plants are still insufficient to meet the country’s purification needs, both in terms of collection of waste water and the overall capacity.

 

For a detailed treatment of topics addressed above, see key topics at

http://annuario.apat.it/capitoli/Ver_6/en/Water%20quality.pdf

and

http://annuario.apat.it/capitoli/Ver_6/en/General%20consideration.pdf

 

 

The 2020 outlook

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 13 Apr 2011 Feed synced: 03 Jan 2011 original
Key message

Part C - Italy - Commonality (April, 23 2010) - 2020 Outlook

Looking ahead, and in light of the new monitoring programmes carried out under Legislative Decree 152/06, which transposed the contents of Directive 2000/60/EC into Italian legislation, it can be assumed, that in December 2015, those surface water bodies classified as having good or high ecological quality should not present particular problems in achieving the quality objective set under the new legislation.

Existing and planned responses

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 13 Apr 2011 Feed synced: 03 Jan 2011 original
Key message

Part C - Italy - Commonality (April, 23 2010) - Responses

Highly settled areas constitute a critical component in the growing demand for  water, as well as the equally voluminous flows of waste which need to be purified. In certain cases, the systems of collection and purification are inadequate and not suitable for reducing the polluting content of the volumes of sewage and industrial waste water. A further difficulty is the precise monitoring of industrial discharges .

On the national level, the key planning instrument for formulating strategies is the Water Defence Plan (PTA). This contains the measures needed to maintain and improve the both quality and quantity.

The measures undertaken by the regions in the Water Defence Plan consist primarily of works meant to maintain and upgrade the systems for collecting and purifying waste water.

In 2005, the national level of compliance with purification requirements was 80 % for sensitive areas and 77 % for normal areas. Data for 2006 are available for 9 regions, within which compliance with the Directive is approximately 76 %.

Compliance of collecting systems has been calculated on the basis of the level of territorial coverage. The average national level of compliance in 2005 was equal to 82 % in sensitive areas and 78 % in normal areas.

 

For a detailed treatment of topics addressed above, see key topics at

http://annuario.apat.it/capitoli/Ver_6/en/Water%20quality.pdf

 

 

Authors:

Ardiana Donati, Giovanni Finocchiaro(ISPRA)

 

References

 

ISPRA, Key Topics –Italian Environmental Data Yearbook 2008. Roma 2009.

 

ISPRA, Annuario dei dati ambientali 2008. Roma 2009.

 

http://annuario.apat.it/

 

ANPA/CTN_AIM, Manuale di indici e indicatori per le acque, CTN_AIM MAN 01_01, 2001.

 

ANPA/CTN_AIM, Manuale di elaborazione indicatori e indici, AIM_T_MAN_99_01, Firenze 1999.

 

 

Disclaimer

The country assessments are the sole responsibility of the EEA member and cooperating countries supported by the EEA through guidance, translation and editing.

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