Environment: Anbi, ‘Po emergency, the water pumps are being covered up’

The umpteenth confirmation of the now ‘torrential’ trend, taken by the flow of the Po river, a consequence of climate change, comes from Emilia Romagna: the succession of lean periods (winter and summer) is causing the silting up of the Boretto drainage systems , in the Reggio area. This is what the National Association of Consortia for the Management and Protection of the Territory and Irrigated Waters (Anbi) communicates in a note. Aided by the drastic drop in flow rate of the Great River and the low rainfall this year, an impressive amount of debris is re-emerging, forcing the Emilia Central Reclamation Consortium to fight against time to free the area before starting definitive of the irrigation withdrawals for the agricultural areas of the provinces of Reggio Emilia, Modena and part of the Mantua area.

Year after year, the problem has now taken on endemic characteristics, causing inconvenience and an increase in costs. All this has been repeatedly reported to the competent hydraulic bodies but, pending their intervention, the local consortium body is forced to autonomously provide for the remodeling of a section also of the channel of the Derivatore Canal. “What is happening along the Po river is the testimony of a country in constant delay in the face of an increasingly evident climate emergency, as the current unseasonal drought is also demonstrating. An assumption of collective responsibility is necessary otherwise even the extraordinary opportunity of the Recovery Plan will become a wasted opportunity ”warns Francesco Vincenzi, president of Anbi.

The intervention in progress in Boretto Po consists in the removal of the sedimented materials in the riverbed and whose volume to be removed is estimated at 16,000 cubic meters. “Maintenance from progressive landfill is a problem that affects all water bodies. Suffice it to think – concludes Massimo Gargano, general manager of Anbi – that our Plan for the Efficiency of the Country’s Hydraulic Network provides for the removal of over 72 million cubic meters from 90 basins, thus increasing their capacity by about 10%; the estimated cost is almost 291 million euros, but capable of activating around 1450 jobs. As we keep repeating: we need a great Territory Maintenance Plan and every day that passes, thanks to the irrepressible consumption of soil, exposes us to the growing risks of extreme weather events “.