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Pipes Leaking, OECD Wants Higher Water Rates for Dry Greece

October 11, 2020

Losing much of its water to leaking pipes and for irrigation – as supplies dry up – Greece needs to adjust the price of the commodity, the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said.

It wasn't reported how much water bill should rise in the OECD's Environmental Performance Reviews: Greece 2020,  but the report warned that, “water scarcity is expected to intensify with climate change… and freshwater abstraction is high due to irrigation and leakage,” reported the Chinese news agency Xinhua.

“It is true that leakage in Greece is quite common and that most of the freshwater we have goes to irrigation,” Simos Malamis, Assistant Professor at the Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) told the news agency. “Efforts are being made in various parts of the country with leakage monitoring systems,” he said.

He is overseeing some of the water management efforts, as he runs an NTUA-backed project dubbed Hydrousa, which processes wastewater into water for irrigation. “This allows us to save on freshwater that would have gone to irrigation,” he explained.

The OECD said that, “Ensuring that prices cover the cost of supply and reflect scarcity, along with improving agri-environmental measures’ effectiveness, will support sustainable water management.”

Malamis added that, “The price of water in Greece does not reflect the true cost of processing and carriage in the network, especially in parts of the country other than Athens, such as several islands.

“However, what is required is efficient management of resources and networks instead of burdening consumers with the cost of the management errors made,” he also added.

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