In 1998 a group of researchers of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the University of Trento set itself the objective of studying the hydrological, hydrodynamic, and environmental problems of Alpine lakes, with the aim of being able to propose eutrophication recovery methods for these lakes.
The protection of these particular bodies of water contributes to the protection of the water resource in quantitative terms (hydrological budget), but above all it is important for the inevitable implications of the safeguarding of the water quality, given the typical change times of these water bodies.
The methodological tools used are the careful environmental monitoring of the lake areas (meteorological, thermostratigraphic, and hydraulic measurements), and more in general, of the basin contributing to the lake; experimental laboratory activities both for the characterization of typical hydraulic quantities (discharge, velocity, critical shear stresses) and for the chemical-physical analyses of the water and sediment samples collected from the lake or other water bodies directly correlated to it; finally, mathematical modelling, even in three dimensions, in order to simulate in detail the dynamics and circulations of the currents, in other words, that by which the nutrient budget and the lake productivity can be analyzed, even on the long term.
International and national collaboration
Regarding research collaborations on an international level, the participation of the Pirkanmaa Regional Environment Centre (Tampere, FIN) and of the University of Helsinki (FIN) is active; a research project, financed with European funds, on the well-known environmental problems of Lake Tovel is in progress (since 2001).
On a national level, the Research Institutes involved are the Tridentine Natural Sciences Museum, the Adamello-Brenta Natural Park, the Agrarian Institute of San Michele all'Adige, the Provincial Environmental Agency of the Autonomous Province of Trento, the Department of Physics - Bioorganic Chemistry Laboratory and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the University of Trento; moreover, the research group was assigned two contracts for the integrated study and recovery of Lake Serraia (1998-2001) and Lake Caldonazzo (2002 - present).
Finally, the Doctorate School of Environmental Engineering has some students who are active in this research area.