Mis Valley Hydropower plant, Italy


The Mis lake is a reservoir basin, created in 1962-64 by a dam belonging to the Italian energy national company ENEL. It captures waters from the Mis river, which flows within the boundaries of a national natural park, the Parco Nazionale delle Dolomiti Bellunesi. The Dolomiti mountains have been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2009. However, last year, the Energie Valsabbia (Eva) group proposed to build a new hydropower generation plant upstream the lake, in order to exploit the poor water flow before it goes into the reservoir.

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Basic Data
NameMis Valley Hydropower plant, Italy
ProvinceBelluno, Veneto
SiteMis Valley, Gosaldo (Belluno)
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Dams and water distribution conflicts
Establishment of reserves/national parks
Specific CommoditiesWater
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsRun-of-the-river dam The Energie Valsabbia (Eva) estimated the production of 6500 MWh/year.

Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2011
Company Names or State EnterprisesEnergie Valsabbia (Eva) from Italy
Relevant government actorsEnte Nazionale Parco Dolomiti Bellunesi, Ministero dellEnergia, Regione Veneto
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersIo difendo la valle del Mis committee, Comitato acqua bene comune BL, http://www.acquabenecomunebelluno.it/, Amministrazione di Feltre (Feltre Municipal Council), WWF Italia, Club Alpino italiano, Amici del parco
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow)
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseInstitutional changes
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
New legislation
Project cancelled
Development of AlternativesExclude further infrastructure construction in the park and leave free flowing rivers.

Moratorium on current proposed projects.

Clear definition of the minimum flow requirement by EU and national policies.
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.The newly proposed hydroelectric power plant has been stopped through a massive mobilization which resulted in a stay to the project ordered by the Corte di Cassazione (Italian Supreme Court).

Local committees also made a complaint to the European Commission against over exploitation of hydropower in the Alps, which could open the path to other similar initiatives.
Sources and Materials

Rete Natura 2000
[click to view]

EU Water Framework Directive
[click to view]

Piano del parco (approved by Regione Veneto on 21st November 2000)


Altreconomia (Italian)
[click to view]

Carta (Italian)
[click to view]

Acqua Bene Comune Belluno
[click to view]

Media Links

March, July 2012
[click to view]

Local news TG3
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorDaniela Del Bene
Last update08/04/2014