Po River Basin (Italy)
The Po River with 652 km of length is the longest river in Italy. The River Basin covers an area of 71,000 km2, which belong to 3,200 municipalities of 7 regions: Piemonte, Valle d´Aosta, Lombardia, Veneto, Liguria, Emilia-Romagna, Toscana and the Trento Autonomous Province in the north Italia. The basin has also small areas located in Switzerland and France (Figure 1). The basin plays a significant role in Italian economy as producing 40% national GDP, consuming 48% of national produced energy, and approx. 25% Italian population living here. Large population, vibrant socioeconomic activities lead to water quality degradation, challenging management of water and land resources, increase in hydraulic and hydrogeological risks and loss of biodiversity (PRBA, 2007). Consequently, the region is highly vulnerable to droughts and floods and to further degradation of environmental quality.