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SURFACE WATERS VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT: A CASE STUDY (TUSCIANO AND PICENTINO RIVERS)

Congress: 2008
Author(s): M. Giugni, N. Fontana, G. Lombardi, G. Marini
Maurizio Giugni Department of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering G. Ippolito, University of Naples Federico II, Via Claudio 21, 80125 Naples, Italy, phone: +39 081 7683443; fax: +39 081 5938936, e-mail: giugni@unina.it Gerardo Lombardi Water Au

Keyword(s): Surface waters, water quality assessment, environmental indexes, Water Protection Plans
Article:
AbstractThe Italian laws D.L. 152/99 and D.L: 152/2006 define the general framework for safeguarding surface, ground and coastal waters by pursuing the objectives of preventing or containing pollution, restoring water quality, protecting waters used for special purposes, guaranteeing the sustainable use of available resources and maintaining the watersí natural ability to cleanse itself of impurities. The objectives will be met through the use of a variety of instruments, including the objectives of environmental quality and Protection Plans. However, before Protection Plans can be defined, the qualitative and quantitative status of water bodies needs to be determined and information has to be acquired regarding the physical, natural, social and economic characteristics of the basins in order to assess anthropic pressure and impact. This varied set of investigative and planning activities constitutes a totally new approach to environmental policies regarding water resources in Italy. A methodological approach has been developed in order to assess the vulnerability of surface waters and to define their environmental quality on the basis of an integrated analysis of the riverís ecosystem, which makes it possible for each river (or reach of river) to be attributed with an overall index reflecting its environmental quality (riverís environmental quality map). This procedure had been applied to the pilot watersheds of the Tusciano and Picentino rivers (Campania Region, Southern Italy), by means of a monitoring network comprised of 10 experimental sections. The application of the proposed integrated approach (chemical, microbiological, toxicological, biological, hydraulic and ecological) has made it possible to provide an albeit preliminary definition of the environmental quality status for the basin of the Tusciano and Picentino rivers and to draw up a preliminary draft of the environmental quality map. Moreover the results obtained, combined with the availability of an updated map indicating water usage and discharges, could suggest a preliminary definition of the areas of surface waters to be safeguarded, and the publication of practical guidelines for environmental requalification by means of an integrated strategy of non-structural and structural interventions.
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