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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

PNRR Investment: Reduction of losses in water distribution networks, including digitization and network monitoring - Italy

Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (

    The fragmented and inefficient management of water resources has led to significant losses of water resources, with an average level of dispersion exceeding 50% in the south of the country. The objective of the project is to significantly reduce losses of drinking water by upgrading and modernizing water distribution networks through advanced control systems that allow monitoring of the main nodes and the most sensitive points of the network. The Italian situation is characterized by a fragmented and inefficient management of water resources, by an antiquated distribution network (35 per cent of the pipelines are between 31 and 50 years old) and by the scarce effectiveness and industrial capacity of the actors involved in the water sector, especially in the South. This framework determines a high level of water dispersion: in distribution for civil use, the average loss is 40 %, with peaks exceeding 50 % in the south of the country. The project aims at upgrading 25 drinking water networks, digitizing them and transforming them into an "intelligent network" that favours the optimal management of water resources, reducing losses and waste. The advanced control systems will allow the monitoring of flow rates, operating pressures and water quality parameters not only of the main nodes, but also of the sensitive points of the network. The investment pursues the following objectives: - Obtain a reduction of losses in drinking water networks; - Increasing the resilience of water systems to climate change; - Strengthen the digitization of networks, to be transformed into an "intelligent network", to promote optimal management of water resources, reduce waste and limit inefficiencies.

    Expected Impact

    At least 40% of the available resources of the measure must be allocated in the southern regions (Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise, Puglia, Sardinia, Sicily). The measure contributes to the achievement of the following SDGs: - 6.4, increasing water use efficiency in all sectors and ensuring sustainable withdrawals and supplies of drinking water, to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people affected by it; - 6.5, implementing integrated water resource management at all levels.


    MASE - Ministry of Environment end Energy Security Government bodies of the optimal territorial areas (EGATO) Trustee managers of the integrated water service

    Additional information

    Goal 6

    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

    Goal 6


    By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all


    Proportion of population using safely managed drinking water services


    By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations


    Proportion of population using (a) safely managed sanitation services and (b) a hand-washing facility with soap and water


    By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally


    Proportion of domestic and industrial wastewater flows safely treated


    Proportion of bodies of water with good ambient water quality


    By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity

    Change in water-use efficiency over time


    Level of water stress: freshwater withdrawal as a proportion of available freshwater resources


    By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate


    Degree of integrated water resources management 


    Proportion of transboundary basin area with an operational arrangement for water cooperation


    By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes

    Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time


    By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies

    Amount of water- and sanitation-related official development assistance that is part of a government-coordinated spending plan


    Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management


    Proportion of local administrative units with established and operational policies and procedures for participation of local communities in water and sanitation management

    Name Description

    - Notification of the award of all contracts

    Build at least 9,000 kilometers of district-level water network (intermediate)

    Build at least 25,000 kilometers of district-level water network (Final deliverable)

    Financing (in USD)
    Euro 900 Mln
    Action Network
    water logo
    01 July 2021 (start date)
    31 March 2026 (date of completion)
    Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport
    1. Europe
    Other beneficiaries

    Resident population and users of the integrated water service in Italy

    Contact Information

    Giorgio, General Director of DG - Financial Management, Monitoring, Reporting and Control (PNRR Department – MASE)