KEPOM: A Look at the water situation in Mykonos

UPDATED in Epilogh with

Η λιμνοδεξαμενή στο Μαράθι. Τα αποθέματα νερού εκεί έχει προ πολλού περάσει τα όρια του συναγερμού. (φωτογραφία Δημ. Ρουσουνέλος Φεβρουάριος 2014)
Η λιμνοδεξαμενή στο Μαράθι. Τα αποθέματα νερού εκεί έχει προ πολλού περάσει τα όρια του συναγερμού.
(φωτογραφία Δημ. Ρουσουνέλος Φεβρουάριος 2014)



(translated in English by Geraldine Melvin-Μποζώνη)

Water is essential as a natural resource for all forms of life.As a social resource it is of paramount importance to the quality of human life.Therefore,its purpose must be to satisfy the needs of all the community.In Greece the administration of water is controlled either by government institutions or by regional/local businesses,which control the water networks of the town.
The excessive usage of water and the increase in the demand for water,on the one hand,the climatic change and the contamination of the water mains,on the other hand,account for the reduction in the quantity of water,and the deterioration in the quality of the water.
It would appear that the TROIKA would prefer to hand over the administration of the water network from being a government institution to being a private institution,on the grounds that the public administration is ineffective and totally inefficient,the same justification used to privatise any organisation,which is government owned and run.
The international experience has shown that whenever the administration of the water has been taken over by private enterprise,the result is the same,an increase in the price of water,deterioration in the quality of the water,and generally the standard of service provided is very low.Since the modernisation of the network is not a priority to the private investor,of course,the infrastructure for the provision of a sufficient water supply,is not modernised.In some countries,where the water network had been privatised,(e.g.France) this is exactly what happened.After a period of time,the administration of the water was handed back to the State,resulting in a reduction in the price of water,and an improvement in the quality of the water.Hence, it is in the best interests of the citizens of the community,for the administration and control of the water to remain under the control of the State and the local community.
In view of the trend towards privatisation,a serious arguement is the creation of an effecient network that would sustain both the sewerage and the water,as was created in Thessaloniki with the movement of 188.
ΔΕΥΑΜ has had control of the local waterworks and sewerage systems since 1988.Its privatisation has not yet been officially proposed.A likely scenario is that privatisation would happen indirectly,through a subcontract with ΕΥΔΑΠ,as is happening in other municipalities,by privatising ΕΥΔΑΠ this would have exactly the same effect.

Apart from privatisation, other problems are:

The facilities and the service provided are not satisfactory.

At an administrative level,it is understaffed.There has been a reduction in salaried and bonuses, to comply with the new national wage level,resulting in ΔΕΥΑΜ operating below a satisfactory level.

There is excessive wastage of water and overconsumption.

There is no Administration Plan,either short term or long term,for the optimal operation of the waterworks.All of the above,in conjunction with the continual reduction in rainfall are the factors which have brought about this situation.

Επίσκεψη-ενημέρωση Άννας Καμμή, Δημήτρη Ρουσουνέλου στο ταχυδιυλιστήριο Άνω Μεράς
Επίσκεψη-ενημέρωση Άννας Καμμή, Δημήτρη Ρουσουνέλου στο ταχυδιυλιστήριο Άνω Μεράς

AN EVALUATION OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE.Water shortages have always been a worry for the people of Mykonos.This is why our predeecessors tried to save this valuable resource in every possible way.They felt blessed,if the water from their water tanks and wells was sufficient to cover their needs for that particular year.The first salination plant was constructed in 1980.The rise in tourism during thid period,automatically meant an increase in the number of hotels built,which in turn gave way to increased demand for water,which was supplied by special boats which operated as water tankers,which met the demand for water with difficulty until the 1990’s.The construction of the two water resevoirs,in Marathi in 1992, and in Foko Ano Mera in 1997,was a stepping stone for Mykonos,it alleviated the problem and reduced the likelihood of water shortages.
With the passing of time,the demands of the island continually increased due to a huge increase in tourist development combined with an enormous wastage of water resources.The problem was exacerbated due to the fact that there was a total lack of information and no proposed plan of action.It is worth noting that there are over 2000 swimming pools and about the same number of wells,both leal and illegal.An insufficient supply of water is not a new problem to our island.The drought and lack of water led to water being brought onto the island by boats,once again.The water shortage of 2008,led to the construction of a new desalination plant in Korfos.

Επίσκεψη αντιπροσωπίας της ΚΕΠΟΜ -Νάζου, Καμμή, Ρουσουνέλος στην Αφαλάτωση (Κόρφος) και ενημέρωση από τον υπεύθυνο κ. Σικινιώτη
Επίσκεψη αντιπροσωπίας της ΚΕΠΟΜ -Νάζου, Καμμή, Ρουσουνέλος στην Αφαλάτωση (Κόρφος) και ενημέρωση από τον υπεύθυνο κ. Σικινιώτη


The low watermark in the Marathi resevoir gives great cause for concern.If action is not taken immediately the water will have run out before the summer season even starts.Why take action now?Why has action not been taken before the levels fell so low?Why were the levels not measured and accessed by those in authority?The numbers would have spoken for themselves,instead of trying to solve the problem at the last minute.
Indeed,the water needs were forecast,but the construction of the necessary facilities,in itself,did not provide a solution to the problem.Over the years,these facilities have not been adequately maintained,the result being either malfunctioning of the plant or destruction of part of it. Moreover,the lack of political initiative,resulted in the huge wastage of the water resouces.

DEYAM KEPOMΔΕΥΑΜ are mainly responsible for the disintegration of the water network,and of course,the present shortage of water for the following reasons:

When the capability existed, the necessary staff were not hired.Since the public cuts,hence no new staff being hired,this institutuin is facing the serious problem of being grossly understaffed.The functioning of ΔΕΥΑΜ lies in the hands of only 20 employees,who are conscientious and diligent,only to see ttheir dwindling salaries at the end of the month and bonuses which have been drastically cut,and last but not least,no payment for working overtime.

For political reasons money due from unpaid bills of individuals and private enterprises on the island,were not collected in time.Consequently,the maintainance of the facilities and new investments were neglected,due to their reduced budget.Despite not owing money to suppliers,and not having loans,the strategic policy was conservative,to say the least.

Care was not taken to forsee the excessice water consumption,therefore,no contingency plan existed,and now millions of cubic metres of water have not been accounted for,and so this subsequent income was lost to the detriment of ΔΕΥΑΜ,and to the financial benefit of thoe people who used the water,but did not pay for the service.

Moreover,the 1,000,000Euro which was and still is owed by the Municipality of Mykonos for work done and services rendered,has never been collected by ΔΕΥΑΜ.Action was confined to an exchange of signatures,and was never made public,in order to avoid exerting pressure for the debt to be paid.

Furthermore,for financial reasons,the infrastructure was not properly maintained,resulting in continous leakage of water,which has led to the loss of huge amounts of water,and to the current cost of maintainance being astronomical.

Moreover,again for political reasons,a greater quantity of water was used from the resevoir rather than from the desalination plants to cover the everyday needs of the consumer,as the cost of spare parts and services of the equipment and the electricity added to the cost of production of the water.Finally leaving it to the last minute to inform the public of the seriousness of the water shortage,which the island is facing at the moment,leaving it in the hands of God,and hoping that by the end of March,it would have rained sufficiently to save the day.That about sums up the water situation to date.Due to the fact that this grave situation cannot be dealt with by expectations,but by a specific strategic plan,in order to provide reserves,we hold the management of ΔΕΥΑΜ and the Municipality of Mykonos responsible for the current situation.The only solution to the problem is to accept the fact that there is permanent drought and to conserve water wisely.In addition,it would be prudent to legally restrict the usage of large amounts of water for swimming pools and lawns,which are not an inate part of the Cycladic islands,with its particular climatic conditions,low rainfall and high temperatures.

Sterilisation Filtering System in Aghia Sofia  -Anna Kammi, Dimitris Rousounelos, Giorgos Syrianos
Sterilisation Filtering System in Aghia Sofia -Anna Kammi, Dimitris Rousounelos, Giorgos Syrianos



Inform the public in every possible way,about the conservation of water,More specifically,through the enterprises which are directly involved in tourism,and on the website of the Municipality of Mykonos,emphasising the overriding need to conserve water.

Repair of the old desalination plant 2100 cubic metres/24 hr.This decision was taken by the board of ΔΕΥΑΜ in February 2014.

Check for any possible leakage and immediate repair of the water transportation network from the desalination plants to water tanks,and to extend them,so that greater amounts of water can be transported to and from the desalination plants.

Maintainance of all the facilities and more particularly of the Water Station(pump) facility in the old port so that water could be transported by boats to the tanks.

The coordination of the water resevoirs in Marathi and Ano Mera,with a view to providing a more efficient water supply.

Strict prohibition of usage of water from the water resevoir by owners of the trucks,who transport water,and the imposition of fines where necessary.

Supply of water by trucks,to be allowed only from the tanks of the desalination plants.

Immediate payment of 1,000,000Euro by the Municipality of Mykonos to ΔΕΥΑΜ,which is owed for work done and sewerage facilities provided on behalf of the Municipality of Mykonos.

Create and enforce a strict penal code,to deal with consumers,either individuals or enterprises,who do not comply with the laws of the Municipality of Mykonos,with regard to water consumption.

Create a pricing scale, whereby the cost of water increases,in accordance with the amount of water order to discourage excessive water consumption.It is noteworthy that the cost of water,to the consumer,has remained the same,since the setting up of ΔΕΥΑΜ and the 80% rate which was imposed after 2000,was done so with a view to maintaining the water network.

Record the number of wells(γεωτρήσεις) and reduce the number of new permits issued.

Action to be taken by the Municipality of Mykonos for the supply of water by special boats, so that there is an adequate water supply. Although it is not cost effective,it is absolutely essential.To transport 200,000 cubic metres of water would cost(without including the actualcost of buying the water) approximately 10Euro per cubic metre i.e.2,000,000Euro which is a lot more than the cost of supplying water from the resevoirs,which would cost 1,250,000Euro including VAT .
Some steps have been taken by the Municipality of Mykonos to cooperate with ΠΝΑΙ,,with a view to the provision of funding.This was initiated in February 2014,and a result is not expected until August 2014.Funding has been requested for the two mobile units,with a capability of 2000cubic metres/24 hrs,which have been incorporated into the National Investment Programme ΣΑΕΠ067 Public Investment.The facility will be housed in the old animal slaughtering house in Spitalia(old port) but the total completion is not expected before September 2014.

Employing more staff during the Summer months,would undoubtedly,ensure an improvement in the standard of service provided.

Η δημοτική σύμβουλος της ΚΕΠΟΜ ενημερώνεται από τους εργαζόμενους για θέματα που αφορούν στη λειτουργία του Βιολογικού Καθαρισμύ Μυκόνου.
Η δημοτική σύμβουλος της ΚΕΠΟΜ ενημερώνεται από τους εργαζόμενους για θέματα που αφορούν στη λειτουργία του Βιολογικού Καθαρισμύ Μυκόνου.


In Mykonos,there are approximately 2000 swimming pools with a consumption of 80 cubic metres of water on average,and a total consumption of 160,000 cubic metres of water.
The possibility of providing sea water to fill these pools,needs to be examined,especially pools which are located near the sea.In order for this capability to be feasible,ammendments to the environmental terms which apply to the hotels would have to be made,also if ΔΕΗ could handle the increased workload effectively,Moreover,an outlet for the excess salt would have to be found.
Detailed census of the water resources,by area,according to usage(agricultual,swimming pools,domestic)
The provision of an underground water network in Mykonos is ardous,due to the geological structure of the island,which consists of granite with low water content.
The annual underground water reserves,in the cracks of the Airport system,are estimated to be about 100,000 cubic metres,and 100,000 cubic metres in the Ano Mera system,according to research carried out by the Ano Mera system.

Η λιμνοδεξαμενή στον Φωκό της Μυκόνου από το ύψος του Διυλιστηρίου Άνω Μεράς (φωτογραφία, Φεβρουάριος 2014)
Η λιμνοδεξαμενή στον Φωκό της Μυκόνου από το ύψος του Διυλιστηρίου Άνω Μεράς (photo Dimitris Rousounelos feb 14)

Examine the possibility of reusing the water used for washing the Sterilisation Filtering System,for irrigation,so that it would not be wasted,by adding appropriate filters.
At the moment,free water is provided by ΔΕΥΑΜ to all the schools on the island,regardless of the amount of water consumed,as there are no water meters.Consequently,it is not possible to measure the amount of water consumed.Hence,watermeters must be installed in all the schools,in order to measure water consumption.

At the entrance of the Biological Waste Water Unit in Alogomandra
At the entrance of the Biological Waste Water Unit in Alogomandra

The Biological Waste Water Unit produces about 700,000 cubic metres of water annually.
The unit carries out processing and partial sterilisation of the water at a secondary level,a fact which makes it impossible to reuse the water,which has been processed in this way.The modernisation of the unit and the upgrading to Γ level would provide the possibility (under certain conditions0of reusing this water for irrigation.In conclusion,by reusing the water produced by the Biological Unit and the conservation of water,it is estimated that the water shortage could be eliminated,and the required demand could be met.

Νερουλάς στη Μύκονο από τη δεκαετία του '50
Νερουλάς στη Μύκονο από τη δεκαετία του ’50


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Συντάκτης: kepom

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