Practical solutions for the food paradoxes.

Milan Protocol



ANBI is the umbrella organization of 150 Consorzi di bonifica e di irrigazione (Drainage and Irrigation Boards) working on a surface of 17 million hectares –59% of all Italian surface- including all plains, great part of the hills and some mountain areas.
Consorzi's tasks are: hydrogeological protection (from landslides and floods), safeguard and maintain waters, even for irrigation uses, protection of environment, producing also renewable energies.
Consorzi are democratic boards self-governing within European and Constitutional principles of subsidiarity; they are also an example of fiscal federalism as they invest their fees in their districts.
Members of Consorzi are all the owners of real properties (farmers and non-farmers) who receive a demonstrable benefit from the activities of Consorzi; every five years all the members elect their representatives inside Consorzi.
ANBI is a member of EUWMA (European Union of Water Management Associations) that is the umbrella organization of the Drainage and Irrigation Boards, existing in nine Countries (Belgium, Holland, France, United Kingdom, Hungary, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Germany) and covering a total surface of 56 million hectares.


Hydrogeological situation in Italy is very fragile: 21.551 kmq (7,1 % of national surface where there are 6.251 schools and 547 hospitals) are at high risk of landslides and floods; 68,9 % of Italian Municipalities is affected from these risks.
The natural fragility of Italian land has been increased, in the recent years, from climate change (flashfloods); the hydraulic network is insufficient because soils have been too much urbanized and agricultural and mountains areas have been abandoned.
For these reasons ANBI asks for a new development model based on a balanced use of territories.
Every year ANBI –that is part of the Mission Structure #ItaliaSicura at Government Premiership- shows a proposal for a Plan to reduce Hydrogeological risk (Maintaining Italy) that, in 2015, points out 3.335 projects expending about 8.413 million euros, whose financing would be possible with loans for 15 years.
Consorzi manage an hydraulic network with 181.000 km of canals and 754 pumping stations that raise 4.100.000 lt/sec of waters.


Water is a strategic tool for Italian agriculture; high quality standards of "Made in Italy" foods could not been achieved only reducing water uses or increasing costs of irrigation that could damage competitiveness of commercial farms.
ANBI assert that water is a "public resource", therefore it is not possible to talk about a "cost" of "water resources" but only about a compensation for the hydraulic or irrigation service given.
Irrigation network managed by Consorzi spreads over 3.363.000 hectares, with 15.500 km of canals; 934.000 hectares are under sprinkler irrigation through 40.421 km of water pipes.
Flooding irrigation (gravity) is also useful to recharge acquifers while drainage canals help to maintain biodiversity.


Multipurpose actions of Consorzi di Bonifica e di irrigazione also improve ecological systems; for instance through phytodepuration actions that reduce phosphor and nitrogen inside waters. The most important example is the depolluting of Venice lagoon to which Consorzi contribute with projects for river restorations and environmental engineering. Consorzi have also built wetland areas that they manage (sometimes in agreement with environmental associations); they also manage forests on 78.110 hectares, mainly in Southern Italy.


Consorzi have some experiences in wind and solar power stations to produce renewable energies, but they are much more committed in building mini and micro hydroelectric stations, producing energy through small water drops existing on their drainage canals. Till now Consorzi have built 115 hydroelectric stations producing yearly 313.673.100 kwh.


ANBI presence at EXPO is featured by history and innovation. Innovation is represented by Irriframe, an "expert" irrigation system that, through the combination of many parameters (different cultivations, meteorological forecasts, soil moisture, water availability) allows the Consorzio to send the best irrigation advice to the mobile phone or another device of the farmer.
This "Made in Italy" system allows to save waters for irrigation up to 25%; in Milano the new version will be shown with voice order (Irrivoice) and a demonstration app.
Another mainstream of ANBI presence at EXPO is the project "Water civilization in Lombardia" that is committed to include the Lombard irrigation landscape in the "Mankind Patrimony" of UNESCO.

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