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21-23 MARCH 2017

Final OpenNESS Annual Meeting in Smolenice, Slovakia

OpenNESS case presented in Natural Water Retention Measures workshop

OpenNESS member Fabio Masi (IRIDRA, Italy), presented the Italian case study ‘Multipurpose wetland construction and landscape restoration in a peri-urban area’ during the Natural Water Retention Measures (NWRM) Mediterranean Regional Workshop in Spain 28‐29 January 2014.

Within the context of the EU Green Infrastructure Policy, an increasing policy interest has emerged for the NWRM. These have been brought to the water policy arena because of their potential contribution for water management, among other important contributions to attain environmental policy objectives. The present workshop was the first to be held in the context of the Mediterranean Regional Network. The overall objectives of the regional workshop were to:

  • Update participants on activities within the NWRM initiative;
  • Consolidate the exchange of experiences and knowledge initiated in the regional networks and web fora, ultimately strengthening the regional networks.

One of the sessions was devoted to more specific discussions and presentations of specific NWRM applications in different countries of the Mediterranean region. For Italy, Fabio Masi emphasised the relevance of green infrastructures for stormwater management, to increase the water quality in the receiving water bodies, to take account of public health concerns, and to mitigate flooding risk. Conventional solutions (i.e. segregation of fluxes) often entail high investments and very long timespans. Fabio presented an alternative: a local treatment by vertical flow reed beds (treatment wetlands) instead of the grey solution (concrete made storage tanks). This was illustrated by the OpenNESS case study in Gorla Maggiore in northern Italy.