The main benefits expected
- Reinforcement and consolidation of 26 resurgence systems in the Vicenza middle valley (green infrastructure) made up of 43 springheads and their relative water courses that lie within the Bressanvido District, including the two main population centres
- Confirm the efficacy of resurgence systems as a form of infrastructure able to meet the aims of the Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC) and in their ability to prevent the deterioration in volume and quality of water bodies; the latter helped by the effect green infrastructure have in reducing the levels of nutrients in the water (particularly nitrites) from agricultural sources.
- Show the possibilities for involving private economic entities (farmers/farmer’s associations and land reclamation consortium) and other entities (volunteering groups; sport fishing associations) in the management of resurgence systems, enhancing the resources made available by rural development programmes and by generating positive socio-economic effects (e.g. rural tourism)
- Raise awareness among the population about the role of resurgence systems as green infrastructure which improve quality of life in rural areas by supplying ecosystem services such as: excellent quality fresh water, purification of the water from agriculture, conservation of gene pools, creation of leisure spaces, improvement of the landscape, carbon storage.
- Diffuse an innovative model for managing resurgence systems at an inter-regional level in all the areas throughout the middle valley. The model proposed by the project could be replicated along the whole of the resurgence belt that extends almost uninterrupted up to the foot of the Alps along the whole Po Valley from Friuli to Piedmont and could be copied in other European areas where resurgences are found.
- Actively conserve the habitat of Natura 2000 Network (code SIC IT3220040 – Dueville Forest and bordering resurgences) and of species of Community interest, which are found in certain points or along certain tracts, largely dependent on the quality of the resurgence environment.
- Strengthen the ecosystem services that resurgence water courses offer
The resurgence systems are an important factor in environmental stability when looking at the future impact of climate change. This particular project enhances this role and promotes methods for intervention with the aim of combatting the impact of climatic changes. The importance of the resurgence systems, in this context, is made up of 3 principle aspects:
- Water supply for human and productive (agricultural or otherwise) use.
The resurgence water comes from the phreatic aquifer that is replenished by rainfall on the Pedemontana (foothills) belt and the upper plain and from the seepage towards the aquifer from the Alpine and Pre-Alpine rivers. The time it takes the water to travel from the percolation area to the discharge area can take many years. The phreatic aquifer and its relative resurgence systems, therefore, represent a water system that can counter adverse annual situations caused by unusual seasonal drought. An active and well preserved system of resurgences is a positive factor for the continuity of flow along the hydrographic system on the middle to the lower plain and plays a significant part in the revitalisation of the surface water.
- Preservation of biodiversity.
Thanks to their regularity and temperature of their water flow, the ecosystems that develop along head ditches and water courses have great ecological stability in contrast with the rural context in which they may be found. This latter tends to be characterised by ecological simplification and results in a fragile ecosystem (semi-natural or totally artificial). Therefore, with the prospect of climate change, the resurgence systems may constitute an important store of biodiversity of the indigenous fauna and flora.
- Mitigating the effects of heat waves.
Because these are wet environments which have high levels of transpiration and water has a low and constant temperature (around 13 °C), the resurgence water courses help to reduce the impact of heat waves in the population centres that they cross. This effect is also important for the wild fauna, highlighting the role of these green infrastructures as a refuge for the fauna particularly during unexpectedly hot and arid summers.