RII - LIFE hydrological and environmental integrated restoration of brooks in the piedmont area of Emilia Romagna

LIFE11 ENV/IT/000243

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Alfredo CAGGIANELLI
Tel: +39 051 5276058
Fax: +39 051 5276941
Email: acaggianelli@regione.emilia-romagna.it

Project description:


The hydrographic network of creeks and streams that drain water from the hills and mountains of Emilia-Romagna are often characterised by small watersheds and narrow stream beds prone to flooding. As a consequence, creeks and streams are characterised by steep slopes and very few floodplains. Thus, it is not always easy to consider the expansion of natural areas, as suggested by the EU Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC, WFD) and Floods Directive (2007/60/EC), as a method to reduce flood risk and improve the ecological status of water bodies, for example via “habitat restoration and reconnection of alluvial floodplains,” or by “increasing water retention by re-establishing floodplains”. In the target area (covering more than 150 km2) at the base of the Apennine mountains, water bodies are frequently crossed by urban belts located close to the hillside, and the scarcity of level ground often limits decision-making and reasonable technical solutions. Thus innovative management strategies are needed, and a new course of action is necessary to implement a minor drainage network in hilly or mountainous territories.


The general aim of the RII project is to demonstrate that Directives 2000/60/EC and 2007/60/EC can also be applied to:

  • Networks of drainage basins and watersheds, not directly addressed by the two directives; and
  • Heavily urbanised areas along the borders between hilly-mountainous territories and the plain, where the minor drainage network is typically modified.
  • The project’s specific goals are:

  • To introduce, test and demonstrate the usefulness of (a) innovative territory management strategies and water course intervention techniques, based on WFD and Floods Directive key concepts, in order to manage hydraulic critical points and the ecological quality of the networks of drainage basins and watersheds; (b) innovative economic-legal management tools to support flood risk management and territory ecological restoration;
  • To demonstrate restoration works in selected creeks; the restoration work will show that flood risk can be dealt with through ecological quality improvement techniques, despite limitations caused by the location of built-up areas along creeks;
  • To contribute to an improvement in the ecological quality of the minor drainage network located in a heavily urbanised strip close to the hillside, thus reducing local and downriver flood risk; and
  • To increase the awareness of citizens and of Italian and European authorities involved in river management about the positive impacts these techniques can have for environmental protection flood risk management.
  • Expected results: The project will:

  • Draw up an integrated plan for the large-scale hydraulic-environmental restoration of the target area (covering the municipalities of Quattro Castella, Albinea and San Polo d'Enza e Bibbiano in the Emilia-Romagna region);
  • Identify economic and legal management tools to adopt new hydraulic-environmental strategies in agricultural areas;
  • Disseminate knowledge about new strategies, techniques and tools developed during the project;
  • Improve the ecological status of the creeks targeted by pilot restoration projects; and
  • Contribute to the reduction of flood risks in the target area.



Environmental issues addressed:


Risk management - Natural risks (Flood - Forest fire - Landslide)


urban area‚  risk management‚  management plan‚  mountainous area‚  flood protection‚  drainage system

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Regione Emilia-Romagna
Type of organisation Regional authority
Description Regione Emilia-Romagna is the regional government for Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy. Its responsibilities include management of water resources.
Partners Comune di Quattro Castella, Italy Comune di Bibbiano, Italy Comune di Quarto Castella, Italy Comune di San Polo d'Enza, Italy


Project reference LIFE11 ENV/IT/000243
Duration 03-SEP-2012 to 31-DEC -2016
Total budget 1,199,250.00 €
EU contribution 599,250.00 €
Project location Emilia-Romagna(Italia)


Read more:

Brochure "Project's booklet [Italian]" (1.27 MB)
Brochure "Idee per la progettazione degli interventi di riqualificazione dei rii" (1.27 MB)
Brochure "Project booklet" (316 KB)
Brochure "Il Processo Partecipato a supporto della progettazione degli interventi di riqualificazione" (2.98 MB)
Leaflet "Riqualificazione integrata idraulico-ambientale d ...
Leaflet "Riqualificazione integrata idraulico-ambientale d ...
Project web site Project's website


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version