AGRICULTURAL WATER SAVING IN GREECE. A. Karamanos, N. Dercas, P. Londra and S. Aggelides Agricultural University of Athens. Valenzano, 14-17 February 2007 . WATER USE IN GREECE. Annual water consumption 8,200 hm 3 agriculture (83\%) domestic (13\%) industrial (2\%)
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A. Karamanos, N. Dercas, P. Londra andS. Aggelides
Agricultural University of Athens
Valenzano, 14-17 February 2007
In order to reduce the water losses, the conveyance and distribution of irrigation water tend to be carried out more efficiently using pipelines instead of channels.
In Greece about 70 dams and off-stream reservoirs have been created by several authorities, mainly the Ministry of Rural Development (39), the Ministry of Environment and Public Works and Public Electricity Corporation.
Many aquifers suffer from over-pumping conditions, which result to the decrease of the underground water table and sea intrusion effect. The above-mentioned problem is aggravated due to the very long greek coastline (16,000 km).
In Greece, recharging has been applied in the region of Argos, East Peloponnesus, in 2000ha with very good results.
In many cases the irrigation system design (furrow, sprinkler or trickle) is not appropriate, resulting to low water efficiency. The improvement of irrigation system design will allow to obtain better application uniformity, save water, avoid high percolation losses and reduce underground water pollution.
The irrigated land covers 1,430,000 ha and irrigation is made by surface irrigation (19%), sprinkler irrigation (50.6%) and drip irrigation (30.4%). The general trend in the existing public and private networks is to gradually abandon the surface irrigation systems giving place to sprinkler and especially to drip irrigation techniques.
In Greece the total water use efficiency is estimated to 60%, as the actual water use was 6.833 km3 and the maximum calculated crop water requirements reached the value of 4.089 km3.
Sub-surface irrigation is a highly effective and resource preserving technique of micro-irrigation. It is compatible with the disposal for irrigation of the low treated wastewater of agricultural or municipal origin
This system is used in some hotels in Greece (irrigation of the green spaces) and some farms allowing safe disposal of the treated waste water. Research is carried out for its introduction in various agricultural crops.
Furrow irrigation is often characterized by low efficiency. This may result from unskilful management and operation or from poor design (deep percolation and runoff losses).
Furthermore, Water Boards (consultative role) and Direction for Water (administrative role) were created in the Regions level (Periferia level).
It is essential to forward rapidly in the following subjects through an integrated planning framework:
a) Improve the maintenance and the operation conditions of the public networks.
b) Increase the use of local irrigation systems where it is appropriate.
c) Train the young farmers in improving irrigation techniques.
d) Price the irrigation water in public networks according to the volume consumed.
e) Introduce the environmental cost in water pricing.
A. Karamanos*, N. Dercas**, P. Londra ** and S. Aggelides**
*Laboratory of Crop Production, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos, 11855 Botanicos, Greece. E-mail: [email protected]
**Laboratory of Agricultural Hydraulics, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos, 11855 Botanicos, Greece.