LIFE Project Cover Photo

Serchio River alimented well-fields integrated rehabilitation

Reference: LIFE04 ENV/IT/000503 | Acronym: Serial-wellfir

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND

The EU's Ground Water Directive (GWD) requires the adoption of specific measures for prevention and control of groundwater pollution.

It covers a wide range of areas: coordinated administration of river basins; environmental objectives; requirements for analysing the characteristics of river basin districts, with an assessment of the impact of human activities and an examination of the economics of water use; establishment of a register of protected areas; identification of potable water abstraction areas and safeguard zones; and monitoring requirements.


OBJECTIVES

The SERIAL-WELLFIR (SErchio RIver Alimented WELLFields Integrated Rehabilitation) project aimed to validate a methodology that will lead to land and aquifer rehabilitation and a 40% reduction of water pollution, in the context of the GWD. An integrated management planning approach would be used as part of a strategy to increase farming sustainability and implement river park activities.

As a starting point for in-depth analysis of non-point source human-induced pollution, an assessment of shallow and deep aquifer processes would be carried out. This would also enable identification of weak areas and unsustainable farming techniques. Practical application of solutions would be promoted using a participatory approach among stakeholders.


RESULTS

The project made a substantial contribution to addressing the serious issue of terbuthylazine (a herbicide used in corn cultivation)in the groundwater of Lucca?s well fields, which has threatened to deprive nearly 20% of the Tuscan population (some 700 000 inhabitants) of drinkable water resources.

Pollution of the public water wells and river?s water ? which had raised a severe alarm in 2003 ? has virtually disappeared since 2006. Although this seems to be mostly a result of natural causes, monitoring and awareness-raising actions undertaken during the project also encouraged better practices among local stakeholders (not only agricultural) and contributed to a significant decrease in the use of atrazine/terbuthylazine compounds in agricultural and industrial practices.

To this aim, the project developed an integrated methodology, combining bottom-up participative approach, GIS tools, mathematic modelling and formulation of environmental policies for safeguarding groundwater resources. It was made clear, that the solution to groundwater pollution is not only technological, but involves a range of aspects (economic, social, and environmental).

The focus of After LIFE communication actions to be carried out will be on fostering cultural, scientific, and environmental education activities as well as creating leisure facilities linked to the river park environment. Future projects will also include the development of an arboretum to maintain the region?s rich biodiversity and complex ecosystems and the construction of an urban farm as well as the rehabilitation of the ?Alla Guardia? building to host the Museum of Serchio River.

The long?term sustainability of the project results depends upon the adoption and application of the plans and measures developed by the project participated committee. During the project, legislation was drawn up by the Regional Council that includes a package of measures for protecting the largest public well fields among those considered by the project. The project laid the foundations for long-term environmental improvement through large-scale supporting measures and planning.

The project results were disseminated among the scientific community through articles in specialised magazines (Journal of Water Resources Planning & Management; Journal of Contaminant Hydrology; Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment).

The project made a substantial contribution to addressing the serious issue of terbuthylazine (a herbicide used in corn cultivation)in the groundwater of Lucca?s well fields, which has threatened to deprive nearly 20% of the Tuscan population (some 700 000 inhabitants) of drinkable water resources.

Pollution of the public water wells and river?s water ? which had raised a severe alarm in 2003 ? has virtually disappeared since 2006. Although this seems to be mostly a result of natural causes, monitoring and awareness-raising actions undertaken during the project also encouraged better practices among local stakeholders (not only agricultural) and contributed to a significant decrease in the use of atrazine/terbuthylazine compounds in agricultural and industrial practices.

To this aim, the project developed an integrated methodology, combining bottom-up participative approach, GIS tools, mathematic modelling and formulation of environmental policies for safeguarding groundwater resources. It was made clear, that the solution to groundwater pollution is not only technological, but involves a range of aspects (economic, social, and environmental).

The focus of After LIFE communication actions to be carried out will be on fostering cultural, scientific, and environmental education activities as well as creating leisure facilities linked to the river park environment. Future projects will also include the development of an arboretum to maintain the region?s rich biodiversity and complex ecosystems and the construction of an urban farm as well as the rehabilitation of the ?Alla Guardia? building to host the Museum of Serchio River.

The long?term sustainability of the project results depends upon the adoption and application of the plans and measures developed by the project participated committee. During the project, legislation was drawn up by the Regional Council that includes a package of measures for protecting the largest public well fields among those considered by the project. The project laid the foundations for long-term environmental improvement through large-scale supporting measures and planning.

The project results were disseminated among the scientific community through articles in specialised magazines (Journal of Water Resources Planning & Management; Journal of Contaminant Hydrology; Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment).

ADMINISTRATIVE DATA


Reference: LIFE04 ENV/IT/000503
Acronym: Serial-wellfir
Start Date: 01/09/2004
End Date: 31/08/2007
Total Budget: 2,419,427 €
EU Contribution: 1,125,254 €
Project Location: Lucca

CONTACT DETAILS


Coordinating Beneficiary: Comune di Lucca
Legal Status: OTHER
Address: Via S. Giustina, 6, 55100, Lucca, Italia
Contact Person:
Email:
Tel:
Website: www.comune.lucca.it/flex/cm/pages/ServeBLOB.php/L/IT/IDPagina/8


LIFE Project Map

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ADDRESSED

THEMES

  • Agriculture - Forestry
  • Water resources protection
  • Site rehabilitation - Decontamination

KEYWORDS

  • river
  • site rehabilitation
  • agricultural pollution
  • groundwater
  • water pollution

TARGET EU LEGISLATION

  • Directive 80/778 - Quality of water intended for human consumption (15.07.1980)

BENEFICIARIES

Name Type
Comune di Lucca Coordinator
Ministero dell’Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio–Direzione Generale per la qualità della vita (MATT), Italy Participant
Agenzia Regionale per la Protezione Ambientale della Toscana (ARPAT)– Department of Lucca, Italy Participant
Scuola Superiore Di Studi Universitari E Di Perfezionamento Sant’Anna, Italy Participant
Gestione Esercizio Acquedotti Lucchesi (GEAL) S.p.A., Italy Participant
Lucca Agricola SRL, Italy Participant

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