Brief description of the pilot areas of Ferrara and Rovigo
The pilot area covers the basin of the Po River, a single territorial entity ruled by two different administrations - the provinces of Ferrara and Rovigo - and located respectively in the Region of Emilia Romagna and Veneto. The territories are flown through the main Italian rivers: the Po, the Adige and the Rhine. Most of the lands were created by the drainage of a large expanse of valleys and wetlands which required the construction of great drainage works: even today about 40% of the territory of the Province of Rovigo is below or at sea level. The pilot area is characterized by

  • a dense network of drainage canals
  • alluvial, medium textured, sandy and clay soils
  • very strong agricultural vocation
  • arable crops followed by multi-year rotation woody crops (i.e. orchards, poplar plantations and forests), permanent grassland and pastures and wetlands with fishing ponds and internal lagoons.

Achievements and challenges related to the management of the target area

  • both provinces were declared Nitrate Vulnerable Zones from agricultural sources
  • the implementation of synergistic pilot projects, on double value and impact on both provinces represents a key element of governance to ensure consistency in the application of the Water and Nitrates Framework Directives and determine an actual benefit of rural policies in the Po area.

Objectives of sensitive areas in the EU.WATER project

  • Development of systems for the distribution of irrigation water and sewage with ongoing farming;
  • Provide farmers with operational tools for the management of N fertilization, considering the different types of crops and soils of inter-provincial basin;
  • Supporting the farmers in decision-making phases compared to the quantity and quality of chemical and organic N fertilization;
  • Development of specific information multimedia solutions systems addressed to sector operators for fertilization management and knowledge of Water and Nitrates EC Directives.

Expected results of the EU WATER project

  • effective and consistent implementation of the Water and Nitrates Framework Directives in the interregional area through coordination of the management tools of the agricultural production system of two local governments;
  • protection of surface water and groundwater from pollution by nitrates, protecting agricultural production both for quantity and quality;
  • use of specific equipment to maximize use of nitrogen supplied by livestock effluents from the crop;
  • better rationalization of water in agriculture by abatement of loads of nitrogen and other pollutants caused by intensive agricultural exploitation.