Moving towards sustainable hydropower in the Veneto Region

The Maè valley in the region of Venice. © Regione Veneto

The Maè valley in the region of Venice. © Regione Veneto

New hydropower plants threaten the exceptional natural treasures of the Mis and Maè valleys in the Veneto Region. As pilot area of recharge.green, the Region tries to find a way to use hydropower sustainably, using a participatory approach.

Both watersheds include the Dolomite National Park and the Dolomite Unesco World Heritage Site. Mis Valley is known for its karst landforms. Maè Valley holds natural treasures and wide forests with traditional use of wood through collective rights.

The watersheds are already marked by a massive use of water for hydropower, resulting in an artificial state of most streams. The recent increase in demand for small hydropower is creating harmful pressure on the last untouched streams. A bottom up civil society protest action to stop and to rethink the priorities about renewables energy in mountain territories is ongoing.
The Veneto Region aims to propose ways to use renewable energy without harming biodiversity and ecosystem services. Involvement of local communities is the key.
The Department of “Economy and Development in Mountain Areas” is responsible for the activities in the pilot area. The University of Padua provides support with the evaluation of ecosystem services and the calculation of their total economic value. This information will be used to find the right path towards a sustainable and more acceptable use of hydropower.