BUSINESS

OECD report says price of water must reflect scarcity in Greece

TAGS: Environment, Economy

Greece is facing a water scarcity and must adjust the commodity’s prices to reflect that, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in a report last week.

In Environmental Performance Reviews: Greece 2020, the OECD acknowledged that the issue of water resource management is particularly significant for Greece, as “water scarcity is expected to intensify with climate change... and freshwater abstraction is high due to irrigation and leakage.”

“It is true that leakage in Greece is quite common and that most of the freshwater we have goes to irrigation,” admitted Simos Malamis, assistant professor at the Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA).

“Efforts are being made in various parts of the country with leakage monitoring systems,” he told Xinhua.

Malamis heads some of these water management efforts, as he runs an NTUA-backed project dubbed Hydrousa, which processes wastewater into water for irrigation. “This allows us to save on freshwater that would have gone to irrigation,” he explained.

The OECD went on to call for the adjustment of the price of water to match conditions. “Ensuring that prices cover the cost of supply and reflect scarcity, along with improving agri-environmental measures’ effectiveness, will support sustainable water management,” said the report.

“Indeed, the price of water in Greece does not reflect the true cost of processing and carriage in the network, especially in parts of the country other than Athens, such as several islands. However, what is required is efficient management of resources and networks instead of burdening consumers with the cost of the management errors made,” commented Malamis. [Xinhua]

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