NEWS

Plan to boost water reserves

Deputy Environment and Public Works Minister Themistoklis Xanthopoulos yesterday called for the use of the country’s largest lake, Lake Trichonida in western Greece, to boost Attica’s water reserves, noting however that the improved management of reservoirs had ensured adequate supplies for the next two years. Addressing a conference organized by the Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company (EYDAP) ahead of World Water Day on Sunday, Xanthopoulos revived a shelved proposal for linking up Lake Trichonida with EYDAP’s network. «We cannot be complacent, we must create additional reserves as there are difficult times ahead of us,» he said. The minister also called for the creation of additional dikes to avert the loss of water resources. «We cannot keep allowing 60 percent of winter runoffs from our rivers to end up in the sea – we just do not have that luxury,» the deputy minister added. Xanthopoulos and the head of EYDAP, Constantinos Costoulas, both noted that this year had been encouraging as increased rainfall during the winter months had boosted reservoirs. The improved management of reservoirs, in particular the one at Lake Yliki, which supplies Attica with water, is also credited with boosting reserves. «We pump about 300,000 cubic meters of water from Yliki every day, which covers a third of our daily consumption needs,» Costoulas said. In a related development yesterday the ministry’s general secretary, Vangelis Baltas, heralded developments in wastewater management infrastructure. He said the ministry would set up a firm that would launch and monitor the progress of environmental projects financed by European Union funds. The announcement came a day after the European Commission ordered Greece to appear before the European Court over its failure to meet EU standards of wastewater management in eastern Attica. According to EU law, a basic wastewater management network should have been set up in this area in 2000.