Giov & Go – Towards a free-flowing Giovenco
Prepping to remove five dams in the Apennine area – Italy’s first-ever weir removal project
The Giovenco River is a 44 km Apennine watercourse that originates in an area rich in springs, crosses the villages of Bisegna, Ortona dei Marsi and Pescina, enters the Fucino collector channel called “Immissario Torlonia”, and flows into the Liri River. The Giovenco River receives numerous seasonal and perennial spring contributions captured for drinking, industrial use and feeding the aqueduct. In the terminal part of the mountain course, near the town of Pescina, the river’s flow is blocked by a barrier serving to store water for irrigation; further downstream, the Giovenco River turns into a heavily modified water body, regulated and cemented, which flows into the Fucino drainage channel.
In 2000, the enlargement of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park included the Giovenco valley. The rivers position, stretching towards the Fucino plain, takes on a leading role in terms of nature conservation, representing the natural corridor that connects the vast area of the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park to the south-east and the Sirente-Velino massifs, within the Sirente Velino Regional Park, to the west.
As mentioned, in its mountainous portion, the watercourse is still largely natural and with continuous riparian strips; however, 15 small dams exist in just 25 km of extension along the valley; some of these barriers are still in use, such as those serving the aqueduct and the irrigation plant, some are unused, and others have probably lost their hydraulic function, and they all disrupt river continuity.