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Parliamentary questions
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18 April 2019
E-002019-19
Question for written answer E-002019-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Dario Tamburrano (EFDD)

 Subject:  Geothermal energy and groundwater
 Answer in writing 

Monte Amiata contains a significant aquifer, which feeds an aqueduct. At the foot of the mountain, to the south-west, five geothermal power plants are in operation.

At a public conference, the geologist Andrea Borgia showed that the geothermal aquifer exploited by the power plants and the Monte Amiata aquifer are linked and that extraction of geothermal fluids damages the quality of the aquifer (increasing its arsenic content) and reduces the amount of water in it, which was much greater before geothermal exploitation began.

In particular:
When the geothermal plants have been closed or operated at a reduced rate, the aquifer has risen again and the volume of water in the main spring has increased (Galleria Nuova);
In the south-west of the aquifer, a ‘hole in the water’ has been created (a point where the water level is lowered and the water is sucked downwards), which is also demonstrated by data from the piezometers that the Region has recently required the operator of the geothermal plants to install.
2. With reference to this particular situation, is Italy implementing EU legislation in a satisfactory manner to protect groundwater and prevent its deterioration?

1. Is the Commission aware of this situation, and is it due to the river basin management plans submitted by Italy?

Original language of question: IT 
Last updated: 3 May 2019Legal notice