Ecosystem approach and nature-based solutions for climate crisis adaptation of Land Irrigation Authorities of Veneto Region

  • Nature Governance
  • ANBI Veneto ed Etifor
  • Italy
  • 2022-2025

The problem

In Veneto region, precision irrigation systems are replacing traditional irrigation infrastructures with the aim of providing greater water efficiency and helping the agricultural sector adapt to the impact of the climate crisis. Although the benefits of drip irrigation on water efficiency are widely recognized, a change in irrigation regimes can lead to environmental trade-offs, especially in terms of the loss of ecosystem services associated with flood irrigation. In fact, irrigation canals provide multiple benefits to society such as maintaining a rich biodiversity or providing recreational and cultural activities.

To cope with the possible environmental impacts associated with irrigation regime change, increasing water efficiency should be coupled with finding additional adaptation solutions that can be beneficial to the environment and at the same time economically viable and socially acceptable.

PhD Research Project

During the PhD program, Alessandra Santini will develop a climate change adaptation plan for ANBI Veneto with the objective of finding adaptation strategies that ensure efficient use of water in agriculture, while maintaining the benefits associated with flood irrigation including through the use of NBS.
Adaptation strategies will be proposed:

  1. Using an ecosystem approach;
  2. Taking into consideration the vulnerability to climate change;
  3. Assessing the socio-economic feasibility of various adaptation alternatives;
  4. By developing a decision support service for Reclamation Consortia.

Our contribution

ANBI Veneto and Etifor are co-funding a three-year PhD program at the University of Padua (LEHR program) that will develop the issues described above. The PhD student works closely with the Etifor team, which provides her with technical and practical support, creating a mutual and fruitful exchange of knowledge and experience.

For more information
Alessandra Santini
alessandra.santini [at]