Case study:Zero river restoration project

Jump to: navigation, search
(0 votes)

To discuss or comment on this case study, please use the discussion page.

Location: 45° 33' 42", 12° 20' 7"
Edit location
Loading map...
Left click to look around in the map, and use the wheel of your mouse to zoom in and out.

Project overview

Edit project overview
Status Complete
Project web site
Themes Flood risk management, Habitat and biodiversity, Land use management - agriculture, Land use management - forestry, Monitoring, Social benefits, Water quality
Country Italy
Main contact forename Paolo
Main contact surname Cornelio
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation
Contact organisation web site
Partner organisations
Parent multi-site project
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
The Zero river at the beginning of the restored portion

Project summary

Edit project overview to modify the project summary.

The Consorzio di Bonifica Acque Risorgive (drainage authority) is located within the pumped drainage landscape of the Venice Lagoon. The Consorzio was involved in a large programme aimed at developing a catchment strategy to reduce nutrient loads entering the Venice Lagoon from its tributaries. To achieve this goal, the Consorzio planned a major river restoration project for the Zero River, which drains into the lagoon. The main restoration actions carried out regarded: banks widening, increase of aquatic vegetation on river terraces, creation of lateral and inflow wetland (ponds and lakes) and creation of wooded riparian area irrigated by river water. Within this project a pilot experimental system was built along the Zero River, to evaluate in particular the buffering efficiency of the wooded areas on non-point pollution sources of nitrogen. On the experimental site, represented by a newly-established riparian woodland, the hydrology of the woodland is totally regulated through a series of pumps which irrigate the woodland with water coming from Zero River, through a series of parallel ditches (irrigation and drainage ditches). The results of this study provided useful data and know-how for improving the management of riparian buffer zones.

Monitoring surveys and results

This case study hasn’t got any Monitoring survey and results, you can add some by editing the project overview.

Lessons learnt

This case study hasn’t got any lessons learnt, you can add some by editing the project overview.

Image gallery

Zero river after restoration
In stream wetland
Newly afforested riparian buffer
Zero river widening

Catchment and subcatchment


River basin district Alpi Orientali
River basin Bacino scolante della Laguna di Venezia


River name Bacino scolante della Laguna di Venezia
Area category 1000 - 10000 km²
Area (km2) 2,038
2,038 km²
203,800 ha
Maximum altitude category 100 - 200 m
Maximum altitude (m)
Dominant geology
Ecoregion Italy and Corsica
Dominant land cover Intensive agriculture (arable)
Waterbody ID

Other case studies in this subcatchment: Pagana canal restoration project, Rio San Martino and Piovega di Scandolara restoration project, Rio Sant'Ambrogio restoration project, Salzano wetland and Marzenego river restoration project, Scolo Desolino restoration project


Name Zero river
WFD water body codes 673_32
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name Zero river
Pre-project morphology Artificial channel
Reference morphology Low gradient passively meandering
Desired post project morphology
Heavily modified water body Yes
National/international site designation
Local/regional site designations
Protected species present Yes
Invasive species present Yes
Species of interest
Dominant hydrology Groundwater
Dominant substrate Clay
River corridor land use Intensive agriculture (arable)
Average bankfull channel width category 10 - 50 m
Average bankfull channel width (m)
Average bankfull channel depth category 2 - 5 m
Average bankfull channel depth (m)
Mean discharge category 1 - 10 m³/s
Mean annual discharge (m3/s)
Average channel gradient category 0.001 - 0.01
Average channel gradient
Average unit stream power (W/m2)

Project background

Reach length directly affected (m) 7,000
7,000 m
7 km
700,000 cm
Project started 1999
Works started
Works completed
Project completed 2004/01/01
Total cost category 5000 - 10000 k€
Total cost (k€) 7,230
7,230 k€
7,230,000 €
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources Veneto Region - “Piano per la prevenzione dell’inquinamento ed il risanamento delle acque del bacino idrografico immediatamente sversante in Laguna – Piano Direttore 2000”

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

Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure Nutrient removal to reduce eutrophication, reduce flood risk
Hydromorphology Create a more natural and wide channel morphology
Biology Increase ecological status of Fish, Macrophytes, Macrozoobenthos
Physico-chemical Reduce Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Organic pollution
Other reasons for the project Increase fruition and biodiversity in general in a agricultural and urban contest


Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications
Floodplain / River corridor Floodplain reconnection, Floodplain creation, Buffer strips
Planform / Channel pattern Channel widening
Other Creation of in-stream and out-stream wetland
Non-structural measures
Management interventions Adoption of new practices for aquatic vegetation management, pumping water to an adjacent newly afforested riparian buffer for nitrogen and phosphorous removal
Social measures (incl. engagement) Involvement of farmers in buffer strips plantation, Student Education


Hydromorphological quality elements

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

Biological quality elements

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

Physico-chemical quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative
Nutrient concentrations No Yes No No Yes Improvement

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

Additional documents and videos

Additional links and references

Link Description Scientific paper on monitoring of the riparian buffer A website section dedicated to river restoration projects, studies and monitoring results by Consorzio Acque Risorgive

Supplementary Information

Edit Supplementary Information