Water.How will Crete cope ?

For discussion, news, comments, questions and information about Crete & Greece.
jeansy
Posts: 80
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 3:02 pm
Location: Fodele

water

Postby jeansy » Wed May 23, 2007 4:14 pm

Well my little bit of the island is green and thriving,and I don't know if I'm posh or peasant and to be honest don't give a rats botty, but I do love to read everybody elses views so please please keep it up as I need a smile when I finish work for the day. :twisted: :lol:

Kilkis
Posts: 10957
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Postby Kilkis » Wed May 23, 2007 4:33 pm

A few minor points concerning the water situation:

It is true that the amount of rainfall decreases as you move from west to east along the island and between the north and south sides. This is largely due to prevailing wind conditions, i.e. the wind is predominantly from the west/north west in winter carrying rain from the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and from the north in summer carrying moisture from the Aegean. By the time the winter cloud systems reach the east they are already depleted by the rain that has fallen in the west. In the summer the moist air hitting land may cause thunderstorms especially when it reaches the mountains, which are higher in the west and centre than they are in the east and so more likely to cause precipitation. A secondary effect with regard to available water is the fact that more moisture falls as snow on the higher mountains in western and central Crete than on the lower mountains in eastern Crete. Melt water from this snow is particularly good at filling underground aquifers since it runs off more slowly and hence permeates the sub soil/rock more.

Having said the above, there are enormous local variations that mitigate against the general pattern. For example, Fielding and Turland who have spent around 20 years researching Cretan Flora quote typical figures for Chania and Ierapetra of 657 and 432 mm respectively, i.e. Ierapetra has about two third of the rainfall of Chania and so fits the pattern. They also quote a figure of 1236 mm for the Lassithi plateau, however, which is about double the figure for Chania despite it being in the east. We live on a plateau at the end of the Fasas valley south west of Chania, which they claim is the wettest part of Crete (the valley, not the plateau) and not surprisingly the whole area is green all year round. It is largely used to grow orange trees, which require enormous amounts of water throughout the summer. About 30 km away is the area of Apokoronou where most of the problems of water shortages have been reported on another forum. Although most of the problems are related to supply rather than available water, you only have to look around the area to be aware that it is much more barren than close to us. These local variations are possibly more important in terms of how water or lack of it impacts on people’s lives than the general trends.

With regard to agricultural water and water for domestic consumption, most water on the island is pumped from natural underground aquifers. The only real difference is the fact that the water for domestic consumption has been treated more than the agricultural water. In terms of security of supply, pumping water for agricultural use will deplete the aquifers just the same as pumping it for domestic use. The only difference I can see is that people expect domestic water to be available 24/7 while farmers can cope with the agricultural water only being available at certain times. Recently in our area it was available for two days and off for two days. I’m not sure if this effectively rations it because the method of watering orange trees involves applying very large quantities every two or three weeks, unlike a garden which requires relatively small quantities every day.

With regard to cost, I haven’t received a bill in Crete yet but our last bill in northern Greece for a two month period showed up to 20 cu m at 0.25 lepta per cu m, 20 to 40 cu m at 0.28 lepta per cu m, 40 to 80 cu m at 0.37 lepta per cu m and above 80 cu m at 0.43 lepta per cu m so stepped charging is common. I think the agricultural water is about half this price. Unfortunately these costs do not tell the whole story. Our last bill showed 46 cu m of water used at a cost of €12.82 but the total bill was €51.00!!!! About €7 was VAT and the rest was made up by other charges. I am pretty sure one of these extra charges applies to drainage and is simply the water charge again, presumably on the basis that whatever you use goes down the drain eventually. One additional charge seems to be 80 % of the water charge but I am not sure what it is for. It might be some sort of tax. There were also two fixed charges of €3 for water and €5 for drainage. This bill was shared between two houses.

Warwick

Retired in Crete

Postby Retired in Crete » Wed May 23, 2007 6:32 pm

Warwick,

Interesting post, particularly about your water bill.

Our last bill totalled 25.50 Euro and comprised a straighforward computation of the water cost at the rates I have already posted, a charge of 3 Euro which we presume to be a meter rental charge, and VAT.

There were no other charges but then we are not on mains drainage so I don't know if there is a charge for this.

It seems a bit unfair for your bill to be shared between two houses as I would have thought that the lower priced volumes should apply to each house.

John

Kenny

Postby Kenny » Wed May 23, 2007 6:35 pm

Whooh Warwick,you are truly a mine of information and your research is brilliant.Once I get my head round what you have said I will be a lot wiser. :)

Bye the way in case someone thinks differently,this is meant to be a compliment :wink: Ken.

Carolina
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Postby Carolina » Wed May 23, 2007 7:36 pm

Retired in Crete wrote:
It seems a bit unfair for your bill to be shared between two houses as I would have thought that the lower priced volumes should apply to each house.


Yes but you only pay one 'pagio' - the standard set monthly charge for meter/connection- rather than two. The pagio often works out more than the actual total cost for the water cu m consumed, so it should even out, and you may even gain by sharing a meter.

paulh
Posts: 2435
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:13 pm
Location: Akrotiri

Postby paulh » Wed May 23, 2007 7:53 pm

there is a drought pattern in Greece as a whole as detailed here http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/news/ ... ?aid=83631

I know that whereas our water on Akrotiri used to come from one source about 18 months ago as part of the water management plans it was joined and mixed with water from another source and our water is a lot harder now. This ensured a greater supply for the region but it did set of a very short lived rumour among the Brits that they had switched the area to agricultural water! As usual when this happened a few of the Greek ladies got together and worked out who they knew in the water supply company (turned out to be a cousin 3 times removed so quite close family) and he got phoned.

Do remember as well in respect of billing that they do tend to do estimates then take a proper reading once a year and sort it out then.

I know of several other measures to improve the retention of winter water but they are either planned or not completed yet so it could be many many years before they make an impact. If the drought pattern is correct (and remember that was for all of Greece) then we would appear to need measures in place for 2010.

Interesting to note though the annual figures across Greece in the last drought (some 200 mm) and Warwicks average figures for Chania region of 600mm plus. Always thought Crete despite its southerly position was very green. I have even seen Crete described as Mediterranean temperate.

later edit........Interestingly enough a few minutes ago on the news for Chania area there were details of a new water purification plant just come on line and working fine with no problems.

Kilkis
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Postby Kilkis » Thu May 24, 2007 5:53 pm

Retired in Crete wrote:…There were no other charges but then we are not on mains drainage so I don't know if there is a charge for this…
John


Hi John

For reference so other people know what to look out for, the additional items on our bill were labelled:

Ειδ.Τέλος 80 % With an amount equal to 80 % of the water charge
Αποχ/ση 100 % With an amount equal to the water charge
Πάγιο Υδρ. With a charge of €3
Πάγιο Αποχ. With a charge of €5

I don’t know what the first one is as I cannot recognise the abbreviation. I don’t know, therefore, under what conditions it does and doesn’t apply. I am pretty sure that the second is a charge for drainage, since Αποχέτευση is Greek for drains and drainage, and it is logical that you wouldn’t pay this if you were not on mains drainage. We were in a biggish town so we were connected to mains drains. The third appears to be a standing charge for water, identical to yours. The fourth seems to be a standing charge for drainage so again it is logical that you would not have this.

Incidentally, although the water is charged VAT at 9 % all the other charges are rated at 19 %.

Retired in Crete wrote:…It seems a bit unfair for your bill to be shared between two houses as I would have thought that the lower priced volumes should apply to each house…
John


Because most of the charge was within the first two bands and the difference in charge for these bands is quite small it wouldn’t have made a big difference. We were renting what had been a family home and another member of the same family owned the adjoining house that was much older. I think the meter belonged to the old house and when our part was built, back in the 70’s the old house probably wasn’t occupied. I suspect this is the reason that they didn’t bother putting in a second meter. For the first few years we were there the old house was only occupied in the summer. For the last three years it was occupied all year. It didn’t seem worth causing a fuss for a few Euros. All the family had become very close friends.

paulh wrote:I know that whereas our water on Akrotiri used to come from one source about 18 months ago as part of the water management plans it was joined and mixed with water from another source and our water is a lot harder now…


Hi Paul

We investigated getting a water softener. During our research we saw a map of water hardness but I cannot remember where. I am pretty sure the dividing line between the moderate hardness area and the very hard area ran slightly east of Chania with the moderate hardness to the west side of the line. I would guess that you are quite close to this line and so it’s quite possible, therefore, that if they started including water from further east then it would become harder.

paulh wrote:…Interesting to note though the annual figures across Greece in the last drought (some 200 mm) and Warwicks average figures for Chania region of 600mm plus. Always thought Crete despite its southerly position was very green. I have even seen Crete described as Mediterranean temperate...


Obviously rainfall varies considerably from year to year. For example, in northern Greece the winter of 2005/2006 was very wet with persistent rain even occurring for significant periods in June. Like Crete, the last winter has been very dry. I don’t think you can rely, therefore, on the absolute values of the figures I quote applying in any particular year but the relative comparisons should still be valid within an area the size of Crete.

Warwick

Kilkis
Posts: 10957
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Postby Kilkis » Fri May 25, 2007 10:36 am

Jeana heard a news item on Kydon this morning that a new reservoir and pumping station is being built at Vamos, due for completion by the end of 2008. This should then improve the water shortage situation for those living in the Apokoronou area. Obviously not an immediate respite but at least a glimmer at the end of the tunnel. The item did say that the problem had largely been caused by the rapid influx of foreign immigrants building new houses in the area.

Warwick


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