On Friday, December 2, 2022, a significant meeting titled “Countering Hydraulic Risk” was held in the main hall of the Bioscientific Pole of Agraria in Catania (DI3A), organized in memory of Professors Emanuele Guggino and Salvatore Indelicato. The event, curated by Di3A, the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture (Dicar), the Eastern Sicily Section of the Italian Hydrotechnical Association ETS, and the Center for Studies of Economics applied to Engineering (CSEI Catania), saw the participation of teachers, directors, and founders of the institutions and included the awarding of two graduation prizes dedicated to the mentioned professors.
The core of the discussion revolved around hydraulic and hydrological invariance, themes of crucial importance, especially for territories like Italy, which are frequently exposed to severe hydraulic risks. The goal is not to exceed the peak of the flood flow and the volume of the flood preceding a territorial transformation, representing both a technical challenge and an ethical commitment.
Various reports enriched the event, including those by Alberto Campisano (Dicar), Salvatore Alecci (Italian Hydrotechnical Association ETS), Fabio Finocchiaro (Municipality of Catania), and Giuseppe Filetti (Geological Service Eastern Sicily). Moreover, Professor Giuseppe Cirelli, together with Professor Feliciana Licciardello and Dr. Liviana Sciuto, brought a significant contribution, discussing the insufficiency of traditional gray infrastructures and the urgency to adapt them to new climatic and urban conditions. The concept of “Sponge City” and “Permeable City” was introduced, with the aim of integrating strategies for reducing runoff, preventing floods, and improving water quality and the benefits that the GIFLUID project brings. Specifying how the United Nations’ World Water Development Report 2018 has highlighted the importance of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) to address the global challenges of water management, a theme that was explored during the meeting, also discussing the potential of green infrastructures and NBS in creating more sustainable and resilient cities. A practical example of a “Rain Garden” was presented, and the use of porous pavements and rain gardens in Sicily was discussed, highlighting that the realization and management of green infrastructures require a multidisciplinary and multi-objective approach.
These strategies are detailed in the CSEI notebook volume 17, available online on the CSEI CATANIA website titled “GREEN INFRASTRUCTURES FOR WATER MANAGEMENT: CRITERIA AND CASE STUDIES“, available at the link https://globaluserfiles.com/media/110822_86b4995fa86cc2cfd6cd0e33df07e020d4c901a4.pdf/o/csei_catania_17.pdf.