By Yiannis Souliotis

Prolonged drought is of great concern to experts who are already sounding the alarm about water shortage. At EYDAP, they are monitoring the phenomenon with concern, while already in several regions of the country, there is a problem with water interruptions and low pressure.

Prolonged drought, 50% less rainfall

“We have to see snow for 6-7 years, which means that the water table is no longer being enriched,” said the Mayor of Corinth, Nikos Stavrelis.

“The water shortage in recent years has now reached the level of abandonment, desertification,” said the president of Assos Corinthia, Giorgos Kostas.

“We are entering an era of yellow warning, a yellow alert, a yellow alarm”, notes the CEO of EYDAP, Charalambos Sahinis.

“We are facing a problem with water interruptions as well as with very low pressure,” says the owner of Chaniotis Halkidiki rental properties, Yiannis Kolokythas.

As the SKAI research already shows suffocating conditions are created in almost the entire country.

“From September 2023 to May 2024, a significant water deficit is recorded in a large part of the country… What we are recording is a reduction of the rainfall that fell in this period of time of the order of 50% compared to the average of the previous decade, states the researcher at the National Observatory of Athens, Thodoris Giannaros.

The reduction of rainfall has the effect of reducing the amounts of water available in the reservoirs of the entire country. And of Attica.

“Where the capacity of our reservoirs was 1 billion 100 million cubic meters two years ago, last year this dropped because there was a drought to 950 million and this year we believe it will go down to 750 million,” says EYDAP CEO Charalambos Sahinis.

The capacity of the Faneromeni dam is 18 million cubic meters of water. At the moment there is only 3 million cubic meters of water in the dam. The municipality of Phaistos has been declared in a state of emergency due to the lack of water.

Drought and over-pumping of water from boreholes lead to alarming drop in water table & degradation of water quality

“The boreholes of the Municipality are at zero. The water does not even run in the taps of the houses”, underlines the Mayor of Velos – Vochas, Thanasis Manavis.

“The level of the boreholes has dropped significantly in the last two months – because we measure every two months – from 5 to 20 meters, even 30 meters in some cases, emphasizes the director of the Local Organization for Guaranteed Improvements of the 3rd Zone of Messara, Markos Melas.

“What we see is that all our drillings have now started and are showing us iron”, says the mayor of Polygyros, Giorgos Emmanouil.

“The groundwater is starting to boil, the sea is entering the groundwater. In many cases, the salinity has reached half of the sea,” emphasizes the agronomist, Panagiotis Stamatopoulos.

Irrigation with the card

Drought affects olive tree crops, vines and greenhouses. In several areas, the consumption of water for irrigation is done with the ticket.

“We have put in each crop – depending on the crop – a limit on the consumption per hectare and per year,” says the director of the Local Organization for Guaranteed Improvements of the 3rd Zone of Messara, Markos Melas.

“Here is an area that has tens, not to say hundreds, of acres of greenhouses, people live off of them, we cannot wait… the situation really is terribly critical,” says the Mayor of Phaistos, Grigoris Nikolidakis.

A blow to tourism

The lack of water also seriously harms tourism.

“When the water is cut off or there is no pressure and the visitor cannot take a bath, I will tell him ‘you know it’s damage, it’s from the municipality’, but the person will say I don’t care, I’m paying”, emphasizes the rental owner in the area of ​​Hanioti Halkidiki, Yiannis Kolokythas.

The Municipality of Kassandra is also facing problems, we are in June and the holidays have already started.

“It’s a shame for a region that doesn’t cultivate that it can’t collect from its tourism,” says the Mayor of Velos – Vochas, Thanasis Manavis.

Local government and central authority are called to take action before it is too late.