The Consorzio della Chiusa di Casalecchio e del Canale di Reno is a body with very ancient origins that date back to the beginning of the 13th century. Established in its present form in 1851 by merging two pre-existing consortia, one for the Dam and the other for the Canal, its purpose is the distribution of water from the Reno River for industrial uses (hydroelectric energy, heat exchangers, etc.), environmental uses and irrigation.
The headquarters of the consortium is currently located in Via della Grada 12 in Bologna. Water management is in Casalecchio di Reno in Via Porrettana 187, in Bologna in Via della Grada 12 and in Via Marconi 45. The management is ensured by the Board of Delegates, holding office for six years, composed of 20 members, representatives of the consortium members, who are the owners and users of the properties of the water network consortium. They meet every two years in a General Assembly to elect the Council. A Board of Directors consisting of seven members and a chairperson is elected within the Board of Delegates. Together they carry out the ordinary management of the consortium. No compensation is paid to persons holding consortium administrative offices. The governing bodies are made up exclusively of consortium members considered to be interested parties. The consortium is made up exclusively of the owners who in any way use the water derived from the Reno through the Casalecchio Dam or otherwise use the canals or waterways of the consortium.
The income used for statutory purposes comes solely from consortium contributions, without any external financing.
By ensuring the distribution of water for different uses and the disposal thereof during adverse weather events, the consortium deals with the water management of the area supplied by its artificial system. In order to carry out this task, it works to ensure the preservation and efficiency of the works within its purview and shares the expenses for their maintenance and management among all interested parties. The Interested parties of the consortium are divided into three classes: 1 factories, 2 irrigators and 3 small users or collectors.
There are numerous peculiarities that distinguish the Consorzio della Chiusa di Casalecchio e del Canale di Reno from other similar organisations. The waterworks managed are part of the consortium's assets and are not the property of the state, the municipality or HERA Group. The area of responsibility is almost exclusively urban and the activity linked to agriculture is marginal, even though the agricultural area depending on water coming from the Casalecchio Dam is quite large. As noted, the traditional focus is the industrial use of water. To this end, the Cavaticcio hydroelectric power plant, the Canonica hydroelectric power plant (Sime Energia S.r.l.) and the already planned Grada power plant are included.
The most relevant aspect, from both a historical and a technical point of view, is the intimate connection between the community and the waterworks and their reciprocal, constant coexistence, to the point of becoming inseparable. Consider that the water equilibrium and therefore the entire balance of the area is subject to the response that the network is able to offer in cases of scarce or excess water. Environmental conditions on the one hand and the disposal of external water (creeks and streams) and internal water (sewerage spillways) on the other are also and above all guaranteed by the work of the consortium. For example, seven creeks and streams fully feed into consortium canals, and one partially does so.
Notwithstanding the waterworks' long history, the activity carried out today has promptly adapted to the different physical, economic and environmental conditions with updated technologies. Indeed, the government has computerised the Casalecchio Dam and the Reno Canal, and plans for the Ghisiliera derivation are being drawn up. For the environmental aspect – and only as an example – the consortium helps in keeping rainwater separated from sewerage, thus also achieving a containment of the derived water and better purification, both factors which, by facilitating the reuse of wastewater, contribute to the improvement of the environment.
The main consortium canals are: Reno canal, Ghisiliera canal, Moline canal, Cavaticcio, Maglio canal and Lame canal. In addition to this, we should mention the vast system of secondary waterworks formed by the nearby areas, the gutters and the sewerage tunnels (see the exhaustive list of the network). The area affected by the waterworks derived from the Casalecchio Dam can be divided into two compartments. The one upstream and inside the urban aggregate of Bologna uses the network as a natural drainage. This area is also defended by the external waters (Muraglia creek, Pizzacchera creek, San Luca creek, Meloncello creek, Ravone creek, San Giuseppe creek, Vallescura creek and Aposa stream) that run into the consortium canals. It is precisely the consortium's water management which, thanks to the works it maintains and supervises, guarantees a balance in the supplied area. The other section located downstream of the city ensures the water supply for production purposes. In fact, much of the Bologna plain – dedicated to agriculture – depends on water from Casalecchio that is conveyed to the area by means of the consortium's canals.
In addition to irrigation concentrated in the summer months and active drainage during prolonged rainfall or downpours, there are also profitable energy uses, mainly by the Cavaticcio hydroelectric plant and the Canonica hydroelectric plant (the Grada plant has already been designed), as well as other minor uses. The continuous and constant supply of water to the urban system (for example, the parks and gardens, the Navile canal, the incinerator and the connections with the public sewerage system) plays a major role in ensuring good environmental conditions for the surrounding areas.
The drainage area served, called a district, is between the line of the hill watershed and the canals that form a gutter which receives rainwater, natural waterways, road and roof water as well as sewerage spillways. The district for the production of energy coincides with the canals themselves, while the directly served irrigation is located on the banks of the Ghisiliera and Lame canals.
Board of Delegates
Representatives of the consortium members
Consisting of 15 members
Pier Luigi Bottino
Luca De Paoli
Maria Cecilia Ugolini
Board of Directors
Composed of 7 members
Selected from among the 15 Managing Directors
Pier Luigi Bottino
Maria Cecilia Ugolini