Santorini: Bottled drinking water

Supermarkets and kiosks on the beautiful island of Santorini do a roaring trade in bottled water, which residents in most villages have to buy on a daily basis. «We have no drinking water,» said the mayor of Thera, Angelos Roussos. «We buy bottled water, which we even use for cooking. For washing we make do with the water from wells.» Santorini has no natural water sources, but as Roussos said, no work has been done to boost the water table to provided the supplies needed. So the winter rain simply flows out to sea. But according to a hydrogeological study being carried out by the municipality, Santorini’s soil is very absorbent and even small dams could do a great deal to raise the water table. «The study shows that if these projects are carried out, Santorini could be self-sufficient in water,» said the mayor. At the moment the municipality meets its requirements by drilling wells. From there, the water is transported to local aqueducts and from then on by truck, wherever there is no network. It seems incredible, but 50 percent of the island (in villages such as as Imerovigli and Pyrgos) are not linked to a water supply network. In Oia, however, the situation is somewhat better, as there are three desalination plants (two of which were donated by businessman Aristides Alafouzos), which more than meet the needs of the settlement.

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