91% of Italian municipalities are currently under risk of river and pluvial flooding, an important increase as compared to 2015 when 88% of municipalities were at risk (ISPRA, 2018). These already fragile hydrogeological conditions are worsened by the growing consumption of soil, which occurs more in Northern Italy than in the rest of the country.
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The objective of the LIFE MEDACC project is to develop innovative solutions aimed at adapting our agroforestry and urban systems to the impacts of climate change in the Mediterranean area. A series of adaptation measures have been put into practice in the fields of agriculture, forest management and water management.
Amphibians suffer a global decline. This has made them the most threatened group of vertebrates on the planet, with more than a third of the species under some degree of threat. The main threats include the destruction of their habitat, changes in climate, emerging diseases and the disappearance of places of reproduction.
Iceland has 100% renewable electricity and heat system due to its abundant hydro- and geothermal resources. Despite the clear dominance of geothermal resources for house heating, hydropower plays an important role in Iceland’s energy mix, enabling Iceland’s electricity generation to be 100% renewable with 73% coming from hydro; 27% from geothermal and less than 0.01% from wind. The biggest hydroelectric power stations in Iceland are fed by glacial rivers.
The 19th century industrialisation in Lodz heavily affected the city’s rivers, altering their ecosystems and hydrology. Many rivers in the densely built-up city were canalized. This resulted in a higher flood risk from runoff during heavy rain periods. Low water retention also implies reduction of soil moisture during dry spells, contributing to higher temperature and reduced air humidity (urban heat island). Based on climate change projections, it is expected that the intensity of heavy rain periods and higher temperatures will increase and exacerbate these problems.
The increasing exposure to floods is a consequence of the river regulation and land reclamation works that shaped the landscape in the Tisza River floodplain. During the last 150 years an extensive flood defence and water management infrastructure has been constructed. Climate and land use change in the basin are increasing the frequency and magnitude of floods. The Hungarian Government has been pursuing a new flood defence strategy for the Tisza based on temporary reservoirs where peak flood-water can be released.
Historically, the Regge was a free-flowing shallow lowland river which meandered through a landscape containing marshes, wet meadows and sandy levees. To facilitate shipping, from 1848 onwards the river was straightened by cutting off meanders, and the river channel was deepened and widened. Dams were built to better regulate the river flow, and the floodplain was embanked to protect the adjacent land from flooding. In 1935, the river was almost completely canalised, reducing its length from roughly 70 km to 50 km.
Situated in East Anglia, Norfolk Broads (Broadland) is one of the finest areas of wetland in Britain. It includes both open water, the Broads themselves (a network of mostly navigable rivers and lakes), and the low-lying marshland surrounding the tidal reaches of the Yare, Waveney, Bure rivers and their tributaries. These rivers reach the sea at Great Yarmouth.
The Hedwige-Prosper polders project is part of the Belgian Sigma Plan: this integrated plan is reinforcing dikes and quay walls and opening flood areas to protect land along the Scheldt Estuary and the upstream basin against floods. In this specific project, the outer defences of the Hertogin-Hedwige (hereinafter referred to as Hedwige) and the Prosper polders – low lying areas of reclaimed land are being removed, reopening these areas to the tides.
The estuary of the Oka River is located within the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, on the coast of Biscay, Basque Country, north of Spain. It is an area of high ecological value. Its landscape has been transformed over the years by human activities, as it has been inhabited since Prehistoric times. The most important activities affecting the landscape of the estuary have been agriculture, cattle rising and a shipyard. While the first two have practically disappeared, the shipyard activity is still on-going, although with less intensity than in previous decades.