Water supplies reach brim

While Greece’s water reservoirs are virtually overflowing, the country’s rivers are becoming increasingly polluted due to unchecked dumping, according to research findings made public ahead of World Water Day today. The four water reservoirs which supply the capital have either overflowed already – requiring excess water to be channeled into nearby lakes – or are pushing maximum capacity, the Athens Water Supply and Sewage Company (EYDAP) said yesterday. Indeed, the total reserves at Marathon, Iliki, Mornos and Evinos now total 1.4 billion cubic meters of water, as compared to 1.2 billion cubic meters in 2004, EYDAP said. Meanwhile, influxes of water from recent heavy rainfall and melting snow are reportedly boosting water reserves further still. Nevertheless, EYDAP called upon consumers to be sparing in their use of water as other countries, including Britain, brace for water shortages this year. But despite Greece’s abundance of water, the quality of the resource is reportedly not so encouraging. Many of the country’s lakes and rivers are teeming with urban and industrial waste, according to a report by a team of Environment Ministry inspectors made public yesterday. «Sensitive natural ecosystems are being threatened by pollution and serious environmental deterioration. Streams are becoming blocked while rivers, lakes and seas face often irreversible damage due to the unchecked disposal of all kinds of refuse,» experts warned in the report. Inspections on the Kifissos, Asopos and Kalama rivers showed the presence of unprocessed toxic and carcinogenic chemicals, and subsequent checks on nearby industrial plants led to 70 percent of them being found guilty of transgressions.