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The hydrographic network of Piave river basin is deeply exploited for the use of the water resource.

The Piave river basin is considered a great water reserve, due to the regime of rainfall which provides a good water recharge during the year. Furthermore, the great development of the hydrographic network in the mountainous portion of the basin gives a great production of snowmelt during the spring period, providing several volumes of useful water.

During the 20th century an artificial system of water resources exploitation was created, above all for hydroelectric production. The economic growth of the mountain areas, linked to the defence of environmental aspects, have shown new water demands (tourism, industries, recreation, fish and wildlife). Such increasing demand has given during the time a decrease in water availability and reserve.

The water demand in the Piave river basin is for:

civil use;


agriculture (irrigation);

hydroelectric exploitation;

tourism and recreation.


Flow in the Piave river has been regulated for irrigation and hydropower production over a long period. A deeply increased water demand is derived from hydroelectric exploitation and from intensive agriculture development.

The hydropower system is constituted by 11 main artificial lakes (reservoirs) and 13 hydropower plants located along the main channel (Piave river) and along lateral tributaries, and by a complex and developed network of tunnel and canal conduits connecting the different reservoirs. The management of the hydropower system is addressed to ENEL. The capacity of production of the system of Piave river is of the order of 614 MW (effective power) and an annual mean production of 1722 GWh (ENEL Produzione, 2001).

» Descrizione_bacino_Piave.pdf