Nature-based solutions - Sustainable water management

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openess logo  webOpenNESS (Operationalisation of Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services) aimed to translate the concepts of Natural Capital (NC) and Ecosystem Services (ES) into operational frameworks that provide tested, practical and tailored solutions for integrating ES into land, water and urban management and decision-making. It examined how the concepts link to, and support, wider EU economic, social and environmental policy initiatives and scrutinized the potential and limitations of the concepts of ES and NC. To this aim, OpenNESS involved 26 research institutes (22 from Europe and 4 extra-Europe) and 10 SMEs, gathering 27 case studies. OpenNESS was funded by the European Union's Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 308428. OpenNESS started on December 2012 and ended on May 2017.

IRIDRA was a partner of OpenNESS. In collaboration with the Joint Research Center (JRC - another project partner), IRIDRA monitored the case study n° 15 - Multipurpose wetland construction and landscape restoration in a peri-urban area: Case Gorla Maggiore in northern Italy. The constructed wetland was designed by IRIDRA for the treatment of a combined sewer overflow sited in the municipality of Gorla Maggiore. Among the OpenNESS project activities, IRIDRA monitored the ecosystem services in terms of water quality improvement and flood protection. The data were analyzed and disseminated, comparing the performances of the designed nature-based solution (green infrastructure) with the alternatives of conventional first flush and buffer tanks (grey infrastructure) and of no action (alternative 0, i.e. maintaining the original poplar plantation).

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IRIDRA's experience in the OpenNESS project

Case study  - Constructed wetland for treatment of combined sewer overflow of  Gorla Maggiore (VA), Italy

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ature-based solution for treatment of combined sewer overflow sited in the new Water Park of Gorla Maggiore (VA), designed by IRIDRA


Final annual meeting - Smolenice (Slovacchia) 21-22th March 2017 - Team photo

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IRIDRA's publication in the OpenNESS project

IRIDRA's authors are highlighted in bold.

  1. Rizzo, A., Bresciani, R., Masi, F., Boano, F., Revelli, R. and Ridolfi, L., 2018. Flood reduction as an ecosystem service of constructed wetlands for combined sewer overflow. Journal of Hydrology, 560, pp. 150-159.
  2. Masi, F., Rizzo, A., Bresciani, R. and Conte, G.. Constructed wetlands for combined sewer overflow treatment: Ecosystem services at Gorla Maggiore, Italy. Ecological Engineering, in press, 2016.
  3. Liquete C., Udias A., Conte G., Grizzetti B., Masi F. Integrated valuation of a nature-based solution for water pollution control. Highlighting hidden benefits. Ecosystem Services. In Press, Corrected Proof, 2016.