Water

The theme "Water" associated to the urban area has a relevant importance  for all the problem linked with: the proper function and management of the sewer system and distribution, the disposal of waste-water to clean the roads, the water needs for different uses, etc.

The  water consumption for domestic use and water losses in distribution system are two important indicators related to the use of water resources in the city and / or metropolitan areas. The first indicator allow to understand the habits of the population living in cities and  the relative level of development. Concerning the reduction of water consumption can depend by different factors such as  a more sustainable use of water resources (eg. public campaign to make aware citizen), the use of advanced technologies (eg. washing machines and dishwashers which restrict the water consumption), simple technical expedient  (eg. the flow reducer in the taps) or behaviors that limit or reduce water consumption.

The second indicator, calculated as the percentage difference between water introduced into the system distribution and water provided (calculated as water invoiced) gives important information. For example, it suggest how to take priority  actions with works of maintenance, replacement and adjustment of the water distribution system. In order to fight the water losses in distribution system is often used an increase of fresh water at the source, that then produce an impoverishment of the resource water and determine in some territories chronic inefficiency with consequent measures of water rationing (often recorded in South regions of Italy).

It is clear that to face this situation would be important to have considerable economic investment that are not always available. Regard to collection and treatment systems, the urban areas considered have different schemes of collecting and wastewater treatment systems , which reflect the characteristics of the city and that cannot be separated from the consistency of the organic load produced and the sensitivity of the receiving areas.

In particular, to represent the level of compliance with national and European regulations of sewage-treatment system, usually is assessed using the following indicators: generated load (expressed in equivalent population); load collected into collecting system (in percentage); load treated by waste water treatment plants (in percentage); the compliance with  the standards required by Directive 91/271/CEE.  The degree of territorial coverage of the collecting system, expressed as a percentage of the organic load produced by urban area, is very high in most urban centers considered. Even the percentage of treated waste water is resulted almost always high in the cities evaluated.

The Italian bathing water represents 25% of all bathing waters in Europe. The theme of bathing water focus on the control and management, that starting from the 2010, is ruled by European Directive 2006/7 / EC,  transposed in Italy with Legislative Decree 30 May 2008, no. 116, which was followed by the implementation Decree 30 March 2010.

In most Italian coastal provinces bathing waters have good quality. Apart from microbiological pollution, some bathing waters in Italy, in certain periods of the summer season, are affected by two environmental phenomena such as the bloom of benthic microalgae Ostreopsis cf. ovata, relatively to the marine waters, and that of some potentially toxic species of cyanobacteria in lake waters.

The proliferation of these organisms is an environmental issue that scientist are still studying to identify the causes that can trigger the bloom, the study of toxins and impacts on human health and on benthic marine organisms, as well as the mitigation and restoration measures. Currently, with regard to cyanobacteria, it is not yet possible to provide an accurate frame of the distribution at national level and of related phenomena, while, with regard to the Ostreopsis cf. ovata, is actually possible to learn about the situation in terms of presence and abundance all along the Italian coast affected by this issue.