"The water war is being fought on two fronts; the battle for water and the battle against water. Alternatively and continuously it is necessary to work to find increasing quantities of water and to defend ourselves from its violence."
We try to respond to these needs on a daily basis.
The Consorzi di Reno e di Savena consist of three legally distinct entities. They are responsible for water management and maintenance of the Bologna canals, and do not receive any public funding.
Heirs of the heritage and knowledge of the ancient Assunterias, they manage the vast water network that the Bolognese built to make up for the lack of a natural city waterway. The operating area is almost exclusively urban.
"In the past, the Tax Assunteria was generally responsible for monitoring the collection of taxes in the county. The congregations for the Casalecchio Dam and for the San Raffaele Dam fell within its purview. These so-called "Assunti" are responsible for providing shelters for the county's rivers and other works in need of maintenance and the same for the Casalecchio dam and the San Raffaele dam".*
A brief from Pius V of 28 June 1567 established that the maintenance work on the Dam and the canal should be the responsibility of the owners who could benefit from it in any way. The distribution of expenses and the execution of the works were entrusted to the Tax Assunteria.
In 1696 the owners interested in the Dam and the canal were able to participate in this administration. Based on the Chapters, approved by the Senate on 29 August of that same year, a congregation was formed, made up of 12 so-called "assunti" randomly drawn from the interested owners in order to cooperate with the Tax Assunteria.
This system of direct participation of the owners interested in the administration of the Casalecchio Dam and the San Ruffillo Dam has remained almost unchanged over the centuries and down to the present day. The Consorzio della Chiusa di Casalecchio e del Canale di Reno, the Consorzio della Chiusa di San Ruffillo e del Canale di Savena and the Consorzio degli Interessati nelle Acque del Canale di Savena, still active today, have in fact inherited and provided continuity to the functions of the ancient congregations.
The three consortia, which distribute water to the various users and dispose of it during heavy rains, in fact deal with the water management of the area supplied by its artificial system. They thus contribute to maintaining the hygienic-environmental balance of the city both above ground and below.
To fulfil this task they preserve and maintain the efficiency of the waterworks within their purview (not owned by the State) and divide the related maintenance costs among all the interested parties.
The administrative headquarters of the three consortia is in Via della Grada, 12 Bologna.
The technical offices are in Via Porrettana 187 in Casalecchio di Reno and in Via Toscana 186 a Bologna.
* Various authors. Problemi d'acqua a Bologna in età moderna, Istituto per la storia di Bologna. October 1981, p. 68-69.