Size: 1 367 km²
The Noce River is located in the Dolomite region North-East of Italy. The River rises in the Horn of the Three Lords at the elevation of 3370 m and the Monte Cevedale within the Stelvio Natural park (maximum catchment altitude 3764 m, average annual rainfall 966 mm), and then flows East and then South-East before entering the Adige River. Noce Bianco, Vermigliana. Several other creeks rising from the alpine glaciers of Presanella and Cevedale join the river in its upper course. In the middle course the Noce receives the contributions of the creeks Rabbies and Meledrio. The river flows through a valley with a total population of 53000 spread in many small villages and the two major towns of Malč (2200) and Cles (6500).
The catchment areadownstream the monitoring site is 1367 km2. The average runoff is 784 mm, resulting in an average annual flow of 34 m3s-1. The catchment is rural with less than 3% of urban areas and a few ski resorts. A large number of small villages are scattered along the valley, which in the upper part assumes the name of Sun valley (val di Sole) and in the lower part of Non valley (val di Non).
Except for hydropower production and a few ski resorts the Sun valley is in almost pristine conditions with tourism as the main activity conducted in a few ski resorts and in the countryside, followed by agricultural activities which are often in connection with tourism. The Non valley is mainly agricultural with intensive cultivation of apples trees and small fruits. The lower part of the river is heavily impacted by hydropower production. The main environmental pressures are hydropower production in both valleys and diffused pollution by agriculture in the Non valley.
Geology is composed by paragneiss in the western part of the catchment, micaschists in the center and dolomite in the eastern and southern part where karst phenomena have been observed. The numerous lakes and rivers in the basin provide a good habitat for many species such as trouts, pikes, carps and graylings.
The landscape along the catchment varies from glaciers (Presanella, Cevedale, and Brenta dolomites glaciers) and plain terrain (Piana Rotaliana). Mountains and hills create a beautiful scenery surrounding the Noce main stream. Ski resorts and steep torrents allow for extreme sports such as ski mountaineering, canyoning, rafting and hydrospeed. Flows in the catchments are natural in the tributaries (i.e., Vermigliana and Rabbies) and strongly impacted by hydropower in the main stream. The hydroelectric system is composed by four dams and 4 power stations. Two reservoirs, Careser (volume 15.3 106 m3) and Pian Palů (volume 15.8 106m3), are located in the headwater part of the catchment, and the other two Santa Giustina (volume 171.33 106m3) and Mollaro (volume 0.864 106 m3), are located in the middle course of the river.
The meteorological office of the Trentino Province (METEO-TN) deployed and currently manages a network of 24 meteorological stations recording precipitation and air temperature since 1921. Air humidity, solar radiation and wind speed and direction are also recorded by over shorter periods. Daily measurements are available since 1921 and finer resolution data exist. An independent network of 21 meteorological stations has been deployed by the Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM), and is currently active. Streamflow is measured in 4 gauging stations since 1986. Water level data are available in other 8 points since 2005.