The Rieti Land Reclamation Authority relevance in the management of surface waters for the irrigation purposes of the Rieti Plain (Central Italy)

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Lucio Martarelli *
Marcello Iacuitto
Vincenzo Gregori
Riccardo Massimiliano Menotti
Marco Petitta
Anna Rosa Scalise
(*) Corresponding Author:
Lucio Martarelli | lucio.martarelli@isprambiente.it

Abstract

The Rieti Plain is crowned by calcareous-marly reliefs (Rieti and Sabini Mountains) and represents an intra-Apennine Plio- Quaternary alluvial and fluvial-lacustrine basin formed after multistage extensional tectonic processes. This territory presents huge amounts of water resources (Velino and Turano rivers; several springs; Lungo and Ripasottile lakes, relics of ancient Lacus Velinus). The aquifers occurring in the reliefs often have hydraulic continuity with the Rieti plain groundwater (detected at about 1-4 m below ground surface), which has general flow directions converging from the reliefs to the lake sector. Hydraulic exchanges between groundwater and surface waters are variable in space and time and play a relevant role for groundwater resource distribution. The Rieti Land Reclamation Authority was instituted in 1929 by Royal Decree N. 34171-3835, and integrates eight former authorities, dating the end of 1800s. It contributes to maintain the reclamation actions in the Rieti Plain, which started with the realization of the Salto and Turano artificial reservoirs, along two left tributaries of Velino River. The hydroelectric energy production purposes struggle with the reclamation and flood mitigation activities in the plain. The Land Reclamation Authority actuated the Integrated Reclamation General Project through the realization of pumping stations, connection and drainage canals, forestry-hydraulic works, rural roads, movable dams along Velino River and irrigation ditches. The irrigation activities, granted by the derivation of 5 m3/s from the Velino River, are carried out through 194,000 hectares within the territory of 42 municipalities of the Rieti Province. The Rieti Land Reclamation Authority contributes to the irrigation needs and to the environmental and hydrogeological protection and monitoring.

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