Water is a resource subject to multiple and widely varying forms of pressure, as a result of massive human settlement, elements of the production system, including services, small and medium size industry (SME), large-scale industry and the sectors of the energy, agricultural and livestock industries.
The intensive use of fertilisers in agriculture can potentially have an impact on aquatic life.
The quantity of fertilisers placed on the market in Italy rose by 22.1 % between 1998 and 2007 (ISTAT, 2007). The national figure for the year 2007 exceeded 5.4 million tonnes, of which more than 3 million tonnes were mineral fertiliser.
As far as plant care products (pesticides) are concerned, the quantities placed on the market in the period 1997-2006 fell by 10.8%. In 2006 more than 149,000 tonnes were sold, with 78.8 % of the total being unclassifiable products, and the remaining 21.2 % classified as highly toxic.
One of the main reasons that supports the demand for innovative technologies and processes in water purification is the need for it to meet the increasingly stringent limits fixed by EU directives, and national or regional measures.
Italy’s treatment plants are still insufficient to meet the country’s purification needs, both in terms of collection of waste water and the overall capacity.
For a detailed treatment of topics addressed above, see key topics at
[Commonality topics] freshwater
[COMMONALITY] What are the related drivers and pressures?