Serchio River Basin, Italy

The Serchio River Basin is defined as a basin of national interest according to Italian law and has been identified as ‘river basin district’ for implementation of the Water Framework Directive. The unique combination of challenges that are present include extreme drought and flooding, seismic risk as well as water pollution.

The Serchio River Basin Authority is leading efforts to address these risks in a portion of the river basin, Massaciuccoli Lake, through the design and implementation of a diversion channel which has been funded by the Ministry of the Environment and the Protection of the Territory and the Sea. The water supply through the diversion channel will be coupled with the implementation of several NBS techniques to mitigate the effects of climate change and at the same time increase biodiversity and improve water quality.

Specific suggestions include restoration and re-vegetation efforts, the inclusion of buffer strips and sediment retention basins as well as reforestation by using multiple vegetation layers to reduce the risk of landslides and the runoff raindrop impact induced erosion, through selection of appropriate native plant species. The Basin Authority will collaborate with stakeholders to develop the implementation of NBSs, including the maintenance and monitoring plans and explore planning strategies with the overall goal to develop an ecosystem-based management approach for hydrogeological risk reduction in the area of the Massaciuccoli Lake.

Subsequently, this will foster the implementation of a territorial management strategy for overcoming the challenging issues associated with drought and for mitigating floods and landslide risks.

Photos from the Serchio River Basin, Italy. On left, Lake Massaciuccoli area during the flood of December 2009. On right, Lake Massaciuccoli area during the drought of July 2017.