An ambitious project to replenish Lake Karla in central Greece, which was drained in the 1960s, is due for completion next March, when it will be used to irrigate the agriculture-dependent area, Skai has learned. According to sources, some 135 million cubic meters of water will be transferred from a reservoir containing flood runoff waters, reserves considered more than adequate for the irrigation of the Thessaly Plain. Already some 20 million cubic meters of water has been moved to the lake site. And, according to local residents, birds have started returning to the lake. Local wildlife abandoned the lake after it was drained in 1962. In addition, the drainage project caused soil erosion and dwindling ground water reserves. Conservationists hope that the replenishment of Lake Karla will curb widespread illegal boring for water by farmers.