NEWS

Plea for a national water plan

Greece is planning new golf courses in different parts of the country and building tourism hubs without having figured out how to supply the new projects with water, experts said yesterday. Dimitris Papayiannidis, president of the Association of Civil Engineers of Greece (ACEG), said that parts of Greece such as the Aegean Islands and the coastal area of Pieria, northern Greece, run the risk of desertification in the immediate future, while elsewhere water is being wasted. «A high 87 percent of water consumed in the country goes toward the irrigation of 1.3 million hectares. Of this, farmers consume water as they please for 700,000 hectares, while on the remaining 600,000 hectares, water is channeled via old networks creating losses of up to 40 percent,» said Papayiannidis. Senior Environment Ministry officials admitted that Greece needs to review its water management policies at a national level and announced the inauguration of a water committee, as dictated by EU directives.