Personal tools

next
previous
items

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Sound and independent information
on the environment

You are here: Home / The European environment – state and outlook 2010 / Country assessments / Greece / Freshwater - Drivers and pressures (Greece)

Freshwater - Drivers and pressures (Greece)

Topics: ,
SOER Common environmental theme from Greece
Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 08 Apr 2011

In Greece, the driving forces represent major social, demographic and economic developments, the corresponding changes in lifestyle, and overall consumption and production patterns. Demographic development may be regarded as a primary driving force, whose effects are translated through related land use changes, urbanisation, and industrial and agriculture developments. Environmental pressures on surface freshwater ecosystems are almost entirely anthropogenic. They are related, directly or indirectly, to human activity in the proximity or the greater catchment area of the water body. The major sources of pollution of surface and groundwater are as follows (Tsouni et al., 2002):

  • Urban wastewater discharge;
  • Industrial wastewater discharge;
  • Pollution from agricultural activities (use of fertilizers);
  • Use of pesticides and insecticides;
  • Excessive water withdrawal for water supply, irrigation or other uses;
  • Drainage for agricultural purposes;
  • Eutrophication;
  • Dam construction;
  • River-flow diversions;
  • Sand and clay abstraction;
  • Excessive fishing;
  • Pollution from aquaculture;
  • Nuisance from building activities;
  • Nuisance from mining activities.

 

The majority of the River Basin Districts (RBD, in which Greece is divided for an effective management of the water resources) use the largest percentages of abstracted water for agriculture (in 2007, 85.1 % of country total; Table 1, GR – EEA WQ2). Irrigation is the most significant use of water in agriculture, representing approximately 83 % of total water use. Only in the River Basin District of Attica is water supply the largest percentage of abstracted water in 2007, since the Metropolitan area of Athens is the country’s largest urban centre, representing almost half of the country’s population.

 

Table 1: Water Demand per Consumptive Use in Greece (hm3) (2007) (GR – EEA WQ2)

 

RBD

Irrigation

Stock Farming

Agriculture

Water supply

Industry

Other

Total

West Peloponnese

201.0

5.0

206.0

23.0

3.0

20.0

252.0

North Peloponnese

401.5

6.6

408.1

41.7

3.0

 

452.8

East Peloponnese

324.9

4.7

329.6

22.1

 

 

351.7

West Sterea Ellada

366.5

9.0

375.5

22.4

 

 

397.9

Epirus

153.5

10.3

163.8

33.9

4.3

 

202.0

Attica

99.0

2.5

101.5

420.0

17.5

 

539.0

East Sterea Ellada

773.7

9.9

783.6

41.6

12.6

 

837.8

Thessaly

1550.0

13.0

1563.0

69.0

 

 

1632.0

West Macedonia

609.4

7.9

617.3

43.7

30.0

80.0

771.0

Central Macedonia

527.6

8.0

535.6

99.8

80.0

 

715.4

East Macedonia

627.0

5.8

632.8

32.0

 

 

664.8

Thrace

825.2

7.1

832.3

27.9

11.0

 

871.2

Crete

320.0

10.2

330.2

42.3

 

 

372.5

Aegean Islands

80.2

6.8

87.0

37.2

 

 

124.2

Country Total

6859.5

106.8

6966.3

956.6

161.4

100.0

8184.3

Shares (%)

83.8

1.3

85.1

11.7

2.0

1.2

100.0

 

In Greece, the existing policies are effective in reducing loading discharges of nutrients and organics. Much progress was made during the period 1980-2008 in equipping Greece with sewerage and wastewater treatment systems, thus satisfying the objectives of the EU Urban Waste Water Directive 91/271/EC.

The percentage of national population (Census 2001) connected to a Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) has risen from 10.0 % in 1985 to 54.7 % in 1995 and 70.0 % in 2008 (Figure 6; GR – EEA CSI 024). The percentage of national population (Census 2001) connected to tertiary treatment (removal of nutrients) has risen from 6.3 % in 1995 to 64.4 % in 2008 (Figure 7; GR – EEA CSI 024). At the end of 2008, 100 % of the population of ‘big cities’ (p.e. >150 000) is served by a WWTP, according to the Directive 91/271/EC. Though the Directive's final 2005 deadline has not yet been met, this is expected to happen by the end of 2013.

 

Figure 6

Figure 6.  Progress in % of national population (census 2001) connected to a WWTP in Greece
                   (GR – EEA CSI 024)

(Note: the % percentages refer to the national population of the country)

 

Figure 7

 

Figure 7. Progress in % of national population (census 2001) connected to primary, secondary and              tertiary treatment in Greece (GR – EEA CSI 024)

(Note: the % percentages refer to the national population of the country)

 


Geographical coverage

[+] Show Map

Document Actions
Disclaimer

The country assessments are the sole responsibility of the EEA member and cooperating countries supported by the EEA through guidance, translation and editing.

Filed under: ,

Comments

European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100