Civic monitoring report

Sent on 3/03/2023 | By Team Swimming in the rain

What we found out

Project objectives

The project we are monitoring deals with the hydraulic regulation of the trait of Verderame torrent, that goes through Salinagrande, a small town in the province of Trapani, namely in the municipality of Misiliscemi. Trapani’s province, in Sicily. Its principal goal is to prevent the flood of the torrent, which would cause serious damages to the local population.

Foreseen activities

When we went to Salinagrande for the monitoring visit, we observed, on the left, directly from the Verderame bridge, the lifting implant, which was built in 2015.
As we were able to see, it is formed by a valve that, together with the engines, avoids the flood and cleans the stream from the scrap that punctually blocks the machines. In fact, when the water amount overcomes the maximum capacity of the channel, the valve will get closed and the scrap will get unloaded in the accumulation tank, where, right after that, will get aspirated by the pumps to avoid the water to reach the houses. In the last few years, the rainfall has increased and the calculations previously made haven’t proved effective anymore, for this reason they need to be reviewed.

Project origin

The project born following the D.D.G. n. 959 of 23/12/2011. The authorities concerned are: the general director of basin authority, the civil engineering department, the architet Vario and the engineer Marino, the sicily region.


The people that could have benefitted from the project we monitored would be salinagrande’s citizens, above all the people who live in houses near the torrent.


The reliability of this project is necessary because of the proximity of the torrent to the houses, and the consequent risk of flooding due to the rainfall amount, just like it has already happened.
When the project was just created the results were evident, but over time, because of the missed maintenance, the project stopped working effectively.


The project is finished and both the stream bed and bank have been recently put back, thanks to the reserved funds for the maintenance. The torrent is now in good conditions, but just a few months ago was in a terrible state (as the citizens of Salinagrande told us when we interviewed them): the banks did not almost exist anymore and the torrent was full of plants, dirt, and mud. On the deepest side of the torrent, however, the plants are already restarting to grow despite the recent maintenance.
When the project was just created the results were evident however, over time, the project stopped working efficiently because of the missed maintenance.


We are mentioning information obtained from interviews to Salinagrande’s inhabitants, its mayor, as well as the mayor of Paceco.
When the project was just created the results were evident, but, over time, the project stopped working effectively because of the missed maintenance. We did a field visit in January 2023, some years after the end of the project.


We didn’t like the missed maintenance that may have caused the flood in 2022. Besides, a lower amount of money was used, compared to the amount that had been allocated, money that could have been spent for a redesign operation of the bridge that was poorly designed and consecuently did not alllow the outflow of the water. In fact this redesign operation had been requested from the basin authority (information we got by the general director of basin authority during the interview).


At the beginning the project was well conceived, and we liked the timeliness with which it was carried out. We liked its initial design, but we didn’t like its final results due to the lack of maintenance.


If the problems we encountered are not solved, the constant rainfall of the future years could bring about the same old issues.

Ideas and solutions

On the one hand the work could certainly be improved by maintaining it more frequently and in a more efficient way, on the other hand reinforcing the banks could also help, as they are made of dirt so they will easily debase with weathering.

Results and Impact of the monitoring

Dissemination of results

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Team blog / website
  • Flyers or other off-line methods (non-Internet)


  • Sindaco , Comune di Misiliscemi(Tp)
  • architetto, unità operativa 4- genio civile (tp)
  • ingegnere , responsabile U.O.5- genio civile
  • dirigente , autorità di bacino del distretto idrografico della Sicilia
  • sindaco , comune di Paceco (tp)

Contacts with media outlets

Contatti con le Pubbliche Amministrazioni per discutere i risultati del Monitoraggio

  • Generic answer

Description of the case

Tramite il nostro monitoraggio civico, abbiamo sensibilizzato chi di dovere, a non trascurare l’aspettò della manutenzione sul torrente Verderame, al fine di evitare il ripetersi di situazioni disastrose. Inoltre è stato assegnato all’università Kore di Enna, uno studio finalizzato all’individuazione delle cause che hanno generato l’evento alluvionale e le relative azioni di mitigazione.
Infine, sempre su richiesta dell’Autorità di bacino, è stata concordata con Ferrovie spa la realizzazione di interventi di ripristino degli argini, abbattuti dalla piena sopraggiunta sul viadotto ferroviario a monte del torrente Verderame e la sua pulizia nei tratti a monte e a valle del corso d’acqua a ridosso dell’infrastruttura ferroviaria.

Investigation method

How was the information collected?

  • Web research
  • Visit to the project's location, documented by pictures or videos
  • Interview with the users and/or final beneficiaries of the intervention
  • Interview with other types of people
  • Interview with people responsible for the project's implementation
  • Interview with political leaders

We interviewed the general director of basin authority (who is responsible for the maintenance of a part of the torrent), the mayor of the Municipality of Misiliscemi (Salinagrande is a district of Misiliscemi), the architect and the engineer that took care of the realization of the project.

Main questions

The two main questions that we have asked are: “Have you ever seen if there was any maintenance before the 2022 flood?”, “Did everyone, who got damages to their buildings, receive some refund?”

Main answers

Two were the main answers: “No, the maintenance was only done after the flood, they cleaned the torrent, but it should have been done before, because, in my opinion as a resident of Salinagrande, if the torrent had been cleaned previously, the flood would have still happened but with less damages.” and “The refunds were received only by some people. As for me, I got a 11,000 euro of refund.”