LIFE Project Cover Photo

BEtter Water-management for Advancing Resilient-communities in Europe

Reference: LIFE17 GIC/IT/000091 | Acronym: LIFE BEWARE



Climate change has an impact on the frequency of flooding across Europe with around 200 catastrophic flood events recorded since 2000. Over the past few decades, overflowing rivers and heavy storms have increased becoming common natural disasters, leading to loss of life and having a high economic cost.

In Italy, the national climate change adaptation strategy indicates that the main areas at risk of flooding include the Po River valley and the Alpine and Apennine areas (where flash floods are common). In urban areas soil sealing preventing water from being absorbed in the earth compounds the impact of heavy rainfall events. In the Veneto region, short lasting floods have increased as a result and the extent of the flooded area has increased. A range of flood events affected the project areas, located in the Piedmont part of the Bacchiglione–Brenta river basin. The 2010 flood resulted in the death of 3 people and more than 150 000 animals, with an economic cost of around €429 million.


The overall objective of the LIFE BEWARE project objective is to implement the EU strategy on adaptation to climate change in regards to flood risks by increasing water infiltration and storage in urban and rural areas. The project aims to actively involve local communities in implementing Natural Water Retention Measures (NWRM) in Santorso and Marano Vicentino, as well as other EU municipalities.

The project will seek to create the favourable local administrative, financial and technical environment for NWRM. Best practices will demonstrate how to ensure that communities are safe from flood risks and the role that they can play in achieving EU climate change goals. These actions will be then supported in other areas of Italy and elsewhere in Europe.

Expected results:

  • At least 575 citizens engaged in achieving small-scale water retention and storage by increasing awareness and organising a group investment programme;
  • Improvement of local legislation by publishing two updated building codes in the municipalities of Santorso and Marano Vicentino;
  • At least five municipalities agreeing to a common strategy for climate adaptation, especially for adaptation to flooding in the northern province of Vicenza;
  • Preparation of the creation of a 2 500 m2 retention basin in a farming area that will store water during floods to be used for irrigation during droughts;
  • Development of six public and private sites with Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems;
  • Definition of the baseline values of the project area and measurement of the variations during the project;
  • At least four meetings held with farmers to propose good farm management practices for climate adaptation;
  • Nine technical workshops held in Italy, and a training session and five technical workshops held elsewhere in Europe, along with two webinars;
  • Publication of a digital technical manual and two scientific papers;
  • Presentation of project results at two scientific national/international conferences;
  • Guided tours on environmental and economic issues; and
  • Six project videos uploaded on Youtube or other sites;


    Reference: LIFE17 GIC/IT/000091
    Acronym: LIFE BEWARE
    Start Date: 03/09/2018
    End Date: 30/06/2022
    Total Eligible Budget: 1,980,275 €
    EU Contribution: 1,188,160 €
    Project Location:


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Santorso Municipality
    Legal Status: PRIVATE
    Address: Piazza Aldo Moro 8, 36014, Santorso, Italia
    Contact Person: Elisa SPEROTTO
    Email: Send Email

    LIFE Project Map



    • Environmental training - Capacity building
    • Resilient communities


    • flood
    • local authority
    • water resources management
    • climate adaptation strategy


    • Directive 2000/60 - Framework for Community action in the field of water policy (23.10.2000)
    • Directive 2007/60 - Assessment and management of flood risks (23.10.2007)
    • COM(2013)216 - EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change (16.04.2013)


    Name Type
    Santorso Municipality Coordinator
    Association des Agences de la Démocratie Locale / Association of Local Democracy Agencies, France Participant
    Consorzio di bonifica Alta Pianura Veneta, Italy Participant
    Agenzia veneta per l’Innovazione nel Settore primario – Veneto Agricoltura, Italy Participant
    Dipartimento Territorio e Sistemi Agro-forestali - Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy Participant
    Comune di Marano Vicentino, Italy Participant