Life Programme - Natur-based solution to mitigate flood risk due to SAND BOILS reactivations along the Po River - SAND BOILS

Natural-based solution to mitigate flood risk due to SAND BOILS reactivations along the Po River - SAND BOILS 

LIFE 2014-2020 Programme


The main aim is to mitigate the risk of backward erosion piping employing an innovative, sustainable, natural-based, and cost-effective engineering solution.

DiSA appears as an advisory partner and will be involved in developing the activities related to Life Cycle Assessment, Business Plan, and Socio-economic Impact of the project with the following specific tasks. 

 A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) analysis on the environmental impacts of the project will be performed to define the direct and indirect implications of adopting a replacing strategy to deal with the area's sand boil problem under investigation.

More sustainable, economic, and innovative techniques will be included in the study compared to the technologies currently used.   

The data collection process will be performed through different steps set out in the Evaluation Plan to gather primary and secondary data through research study, interviews, existing literature, and administrative sources of information.   

Economists and engineers will carry out a detailed life-cycle environmental analysis, monitor and measure changes in ex-ante observations, in itinere, and ex-post evaluation analyses.

Specific and customized models will be developed to reproduce the costs and risks of both the new strategy and the traditional system through professional tools and methodology. 

Following the pilot's application and the prototype, the collected data will be enough to write down a complete and detailed Business Plan.

Together with Officine Maccaferri Co. Ltd. (industrial partner), researchers from DiSA will draft a Business Plan for the market application of the technology solution implemented. 

To this aim, grounding on detailed SWOT analysis, the Business Plan will highlight the potential innovative gains by carefully stressing the environmental, technical, and economic improved performances introduced, the economic and technical feasibility, the sustainability, and the replicability of the proposed solution. 

Besides, quantitative answers from Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) will be complemented by a Positional Analysis (PA) to consider the local context, the interconnected elements, and the environmental ecosystem. 

To fully monitor and assess LIFE Sand-Boil technology's contribution, a set of project performance parameters and a set of specific socio-economic indicators will be computed to evaluate the impact of the technology on economic and social dimensions in the area under investigation.  

The measured benefits will be compared to the current baseline and to the expectations defined at the proposal stage.

LIFE Sand-Boil will produce an analysis of the social impacts of the prototype application implementing a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods.

A semi-structured interview for a representative sample of local people involved; a counterfactual approach to estimate the project's net impact (that is, to verify what would have happened had the intervention not taken place).  


Coordinator: Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering - DICAM and the Department of Management, prof. Giuseppe Torluccio, as advisory partner of UNIBO coordinator Università di Bologna - Italy


The Interregional Agency for the Po River (AIPo) - Italy 

Officine Maccaferri Italia Co. Ltd - Italy

North-Transdanubian Water Directorate Észak-dunántúli Vízügyi Igazgatóság -Hungary

Duration: 60 months – from 01/10/20 to 30/09/25 

Sustainable Development Goals:

11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

13 Climate Action