Technical consulting for the Consorzio di Bonifica Piave

  • Nature Governance
  • Consorzio di Bonifica Piave
  • Online
  • 2020



    Photo credit: immagini tratte dal libro “La Piave. Madre” di Tranquillo Cortiana e Chiara Rampazzo

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Consorzio di bonifica Piave water derivations

Consorzio di bonifica Piave (“Piave Irrigation Consortium”) is responsible for managing water derivations from the Piave River for the distribution of water in the territory under its jurisdiction, which roughly coincides with the province of Treviso (55,000 irrigated hectares). 

Water derivations and canals have the primary purpose of irrigating and supplying energy. Still, these uses also have a direct effect on other ecosystem services such as landscape, the tourist-recreational service of cities such as Treviso and Castelfranco Veneto (bathed by the waters of the canals managed by the Consortium) and the groundwater recharge service, which allows the origin of the so-called’ resurgence watercourses’ (such as the river Sile).

Some recent European regulations (Ecological Outflow) would foresee a decrease in the flow rates derivable from the Piave River towards the irrigation canals, with potential adverse effects on the services provided by the canals throughout the Treviso plain.

Consortium perimeter and irrigation service managed by Consorzio di bonifica Piave.

Consortium perimeter and irrigation service managed by Consorzio di bonifica Piave.

The benefits provided by the Piave Consortium’s irrigation network

Our consultancy focused on assessing the impact of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) on the ecosystem services provided by the Consortium’s activities and, in parallel, on the search for funding to support a long-term strategy for adopting the Water Framework Directive.

The economic assessment we conducted preliminarily estimated the total potential damage for implementing the Water Framework Directive derived from the primary ecosystem services, resulting in real annual damage of 21.84 million euros, 57% of which derived from irrigation use.

Cultural services (the value of the landscape, walks, historical memory) were the subject of a further survey that returned a potential damage of 26 euros per family per year, which in total corresponds to 5,390,107 €/year: a 70% reduction in the total value of cultural ecosystem services provided by the Consortium.

This is the first study in Italy on the value of the cultural services of the irrigation system and the impact of environmental regulations on this system. 

Cost and demand-based methods

The preliminary estimation used the benefit transfer methodology, which transfers economic values for available ecosystem services from studies already carried out elsewhere in the study area.

On the other hand, the estimation of cultural services was carried out through a questionnaire that asked households in the province of Treviso for their willingness to pay in order not to suffer the damage resulting from the reduction of water availability (contingent valuation methodology), through the creation of potential impact scenarios.

Restoring value to ecosystems

This type of activity can be applied to every type of ecosystem and ecosystem service: the valuation of ecosystem services is a valuable tool to support decision-making processes at every level (from local to national), to highlight the contribution that ecosystems make to our well-being and recognise their role in politics, the economy and society.

If you want to discover the value of the areas you manage or are affected by your activities, discover our service.