Case study:Lower Aurino river: Molini di Tures riverbed widening

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Location: 46° 53' 2", 11° 56' 52"
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Project overview

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Status Complete
Project web site
Themes Flood risk management, Habitat and biodiversity, Hydromorphology, Monitoring, Spatial planning
Country Italy
Main contact forename Caterina
Main contact surname Ghiraldo
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano
Contact organisation web site
Partner organisations
This is a parent project
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Project summary

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The Aurino river is a typical Alpine watercourse (basin Area 630 km2, average discharge in summer 30-50 m3/s) affected in the past by gravel extraction, construction of bank defences along part of its course and a major reduction of sediment load from upstream, due to weirs and other protection measures in most tributaries. This determined channel incision, reduction of riverbed width, alteration of morphological structures and dynamics and as a consequence reduced connection with the floodplain, lowering of the groundwater level and loss of riparian habitats (especially hygrophilic riparian forests of Alnus incana). A major effect was also a reduced flood retention capacity, and its recovery by reverting the incision process was one of the main drivers, together with biodiversity increase, to implement a catchment scale restoration scheme. This has been carried out, step by step, for more than a decade and further measures are foreseen. The riverbed widening in "Molini di Tures", the first of the series of measures implemented along the Aurino from 2003 on, included removing a total of 9500 m3 of gravel from the disconnected floodplain, doubling (from 30 to 60 m) the width of the river and recreating secondary branches. A monitoring activity has been implemented to study the geomorphological and biological effects of the project.

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Image gallery


Foto1 Aurino light.jpg
Foto3 Molini2008 light.jpg
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Catchment and subcatchment

Catchment

River basin district Alpi Orientali
River basin Adige

Subcatchment

River name Aurino
Area category 100 - 1000 km²
Area (km2) 630
630 km²
63,000 ha
Maximum altitude category more than 2000 m
Maximum altitude (m)
Dominant geology
Ecoregion Alps
Dominant land cover Grassland
Waterbody ID



Other case studies in this subcatchment: Lower Aurino master plan, Lower Aurino river: San Giorgio di Brunico riverbed widening


Site

Name Molini di Tures
WFD water body codes 03SS3N
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name D_c Torrente Aurino
Pre-project morphology Single channel
Reference morphology Braided
Desired post project morphology
Heavily modified water body No
National/international site designation
Local/regional site designations
Protected species present Yes
Invasive species present No
Species of interest
Dominant hydrology
Dominant substrate Gravel
River corridor land use Grassland
Average bankfull channel width category 10 - 50 m
Average bankfull channel width (m)
Average bankfull channel depth category 0.5 - 2 m
Average bankfull channel depth (m)
Mean discharge category 10 - 100 m³/s
Mean annual discharge (m3/s)
Average channel gradient category
Average channel gradient
Average unit stream power (W/m2)


Project background

Reach length directly affected (m) 400
400 m
0.4 km
40,000 cm
Project started 2002
Works started
Works completed
Project completed 2013/12/31
Total cost category 50 - 100 k€
Total cost (k€) 100
100 k€
100,000 €
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano

Cost for project phases

Phase cost category cost exact (k€) Lead organisation Contact forename Contact surname
Investigation and design
Stakeholder engagement and communication
Works and works supervision
Post-project management and maintenance
Monitoring



Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure Biodiversity increase, flood risk control, morphology restoration
Hydromorphology Width & depth variation, Connection to groundwaters and floodplain
Biology Fish, Invertebrates
Physico-chemical
Other reasons for the project


Measures

Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications
Floodplain / River corridor Floodplain reconnection
Planform / Channel pattern Creation of new channel, Removal of rip-rap, Channel widening
Other
Non-structural measures
Management interventions
Social measures (incl. engagement) Citizen participation in the restoration project
Other


Monitoring

Hydromorphological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative
Channel pattern/planform No Yes No Yes No Improvement
Structure & condition of riparian/lake shore zones No No No Yes No Improvement

Biological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative
Invertebrates No Yes No No Yes No change

Physico-chemical quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Any other monitoring, e.g. social, economic

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative


Monitoring documents



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Supplementary Information

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