Drought and the value of ‘experimental’ dams: for once, Calabria was visionary

Drought and the value of 'experimental' dams: for once, Calabria was visionary

Central-Northern Italy is sad another dryprobably more serious than those 2007 he was born in 2017 but not yet comparable with the great European shoal 1975-1976, making ritual conjugations. During this crisis, the worst of the twentieth centuryT-shirts with the slogan were sold in the UK “Save water – take a bath with a friend”: Save water, take a bath with a friend, At the time, one of the reactions was the decisive shortage of the sanitary vessel, whose volume of 12 more liters rapidly increased to 8, up to 6 or 4 in most modern systems. A gimmick that came from Great Britain, where the siphon that seals the gutter hydraulically to avoid foul odors was introduced by a Scottish mechanic Alexander Cummings Back in 1775. This initiative was followed by continental Europe and the rest of the world.

For now, the south of Italy suffers much less damage than the north of the impact of a hydrological year, 2021-2022 rain miser, And the good news comforts her Calabria, Particularly known for visionary environmental, agriculture and energy policy decisions. The Ray di Sol dam begins to “experimentally” attack the water. A centuries-old and painful tale – almost a miniaturized model of the overturning of the great unfinished dam of the Alto Esaro in Camelli – is happily ending.

dam, built in sila In the area of ​​San Giovanni in Fiore, it was designed sixty years ago and built by Opera Silla in just ten years, starting in 1978. (see picture 1), But it never turned on. Structural problems have apparently been resolved, as well as some specific cracks that suggested suspending the start of the filling; And fears about a possible collapse threatening the valley below were finally allayed. 40 meters high and 13 meters wide, it is classified as a large dam, but can only invade 1.5 million cubic meters of water, However, for the cultivation of the valleys of the Upper Croton region, it is actually white gold, as inspired by the collective imagination of the Nepalese, at least those insensitive to the text of Cavour who baptized white coal in water. .

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Figure 1.

Sooner or later the cocoon of the unfinished also opens. And don’t be surprised at the label of “Experimental Reservoir” With which the starter flag went up. Italian dams are Ancient, They are of a respectable age, about seventy years on average, many even in the optimistic outlook on the duration of Mrs Fornero’s life. Until recently, the bottom 100 of Italy’s 540 large dams were still in experimental operation. Caution is never too much and experimental practice is needed a more diligent control, Nothing bad though: they invade anyway, offering their services to valley communities.

Dams play a great role, reduce it alps From the progressive change of regime from nivo-rain to rainwater which we should reflect on their management rules. and on any structural intervention, if necessary, to cope with the change. The anticipated fall in the water level of the Great East-Alpine Lakes compared to the historical lows of this century worries northwestern Italy: Initial negative gradient is now evident In both the great lakes (Verbano and Lario, See figs. 2) in both small lakes but of considerable hydroelectric importance such as Lake Idro (see picture 3) Savings for now only Garda (see Figure 4).

Figure 2, 3, 4

The crisis affects not only the Po Valley, but also other European regions. And the impact is not just agriculture, but also energetic, Already in May 2022, France 24 Declared an “unprecedented drought in France” because, even before the start of the summer season, 15 departments had to limit water use. And, according to the latest forecasts for Météo-France, the upcoming French summer will be exceptionally hot and dry, In return, the Spanish government took immediate measures to reduce the impact of the drought on agriculture as early as March 5, 2022, when the capacity of the reservoirs blocked by 1,250 large Iberian dams fell to 44 percent of the total, the lowest in 1995. level since. ,

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Is water crisis Even in Europe at large, so far this can be said with reasonable certainty. That’s why I recommend the curious to read again The Sieber Report on tackling the problem of water scarcity and drought in the EU, approved by the European Parliament on 22 September 2008, Of the 65 recommendations, a fifth seems particularly relevant. It is with which the European Parliament calls on “regional and local authorities to seize the great opportunities presented by structural and financial funds. Invest in the improvement or renewal of existing infrastructure and technologies (especially in areas where water resources are wasted due to leaks in pipelines), including the use of clean technologies that facilitate efficient use of water and in particular the problem of water efficiency To overcome can be linked to integrated water management (in terms of savings and reuse) by the agricultural and industrial sectors as well as by private consumers”. be at speed, yet has moved in this direction, while politics is busy elsewhere in a stubborn and opposite direction,

Furthermore, with the 54 recommendation, the European Parliament believed that “the water should remain”. a public good and a fundamental element of the sovereignty of countries, accessible to all at reasonable social and environmental prices, especially taking into account the specific situation of each country and the various existing agricultural systems as well as the social role played by agricultural activity “. Perhaps Referendum 2011 Italian on Common Good Water Waste: It was enough to practice what Europe recommended! And it was absolutely useless, we touched on it later.

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