Precious reserves draining away

In his «Stories of Mr Keuner,» Bertolt Brecht wrote that when Keuner was asked what he was working on, he replied, «I’m having a hard time; I’m preparing my next mistake.» In much the same way, the Greek state is preparing its next mistake in confronting an old problem – drought. After a dry winter that does not augur well for the coming summer, water supplies will have to be found to satisfy current demands. Once more the authorities will resort to drilling for water, as has happened in the past (the difficult 1989-1990 period), when permits were handed out freely and problems mounted to the extent that now in many areas they are irreversible. Without any real monitoring policy, hydrological surveys or strict institutional framework, there is no real policy on the governance of underground water reserves, and reserves are threatened with salination. Existing legislation does not solve the problem, the scientific community is divided but also marginalized, while over 170,000 boreholes are wasting what nature has taken decades to collect.

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