In 2016 Ministries, District Authorities, Regions, Research Institutes and Associations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding which established the Permanent Observatory of water uses in the Northern Apennines River Basin District.

The Observatory is a shared, voluntary, and operational structure to support the management of water resources (Art. 2 of the 2016 Memorandum), aimed at strengthening cooperation and dialogue between all the identified public and private actors responsible for water management. It favours the collection of information related to climate and hydrological scenarios and real-time monitoring of water availability and consumption.

The Observatory acts using a preventive and proactive approach based on the knowledge framework and on water scarcity indicators to support the implementation the emergency actions to tackle drought phenomena. The aim is to move from crisis management to drought risk management taking into consideration the effects of climate change within the framework of the River Basin District Management Plan and making information available to the public.