Socioeconomic Development

The Po basin can be defined as very high chemical and energy input involving, since it is very significant in economic, industrial and environmental issues. The basin accounts for 40% of the country GDP (PRBA, 2007). Currently, 17 million people live in this region (Montanari, 2012) and 37% of Italian industrial activities occur in the Po river basin.

The employment rate in the Po river basin amounts 46%, the agricultural production 35% and the energy consumption 48%. The catchment exploits intensely water resources, particularly the irrigation, hydro-power production, civil and industrial use. There are 272 hydroelectric power plants being constructed in the basin. Water resources are in this basin close to overexploitation (Montanari, 2012). 


Important cultivations are cereals, wheat, barley, maize, sugar beet, and rotating fodder. Among crops, considerable importance is given to meadows and pasture covering an area of over 1,100,000 hectares. Vineyards and orchards cover some 230,000 hectares (PRBA, 2007).


References and further reading:

Artina et al. (1990) Water resources planning of the River Po basin: a surface and groundwater hydrology study, in: The Hydrological Basis for Water Resources Management 197: 427-437.

Mysiak et al. (2013) Economic impacts of drought on agriculture, in Research Papers, Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici.

Montanari (2012) Hydrology of the Po River: looking for changing patterns in river discharge, in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 16: 3739-3747.

Ravazzani et al. (2015) An integrated Hydrological Model for Assessing Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources of the Upper Po River Basin, in Water Resources Management 29: 1193-1215.

Turco et al. (2013) Variation in discharge, precipitation and temperature in Po River and tributaries basins, Impacts on Soil and Coasts Division.

PRBA (Po River Basin Authority) (2007) Introduction of Po River Basin Authority.

Po River Basin Authority (2013) Vulnerability to drought of  the Po River Basin: Issues and Challenges, www.abdpo.it 

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