RESULTS OF THE EVROTAS CASE STUDY MEETINGS

Within GLOBAQUA one of the case study focuses on the Evrotas river basin, which is affected by overexploitation of water resources for irrigation, agro-industrial wastes (mainly olive oil mills), agrochemical pollution and geomorphological modifications. Two meetings were organised by the Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research in collaboration with ATHENA (Greece) and ALTERRA (the Netherlands).

The first Evrotas Case Study Meeting took place in Sparta (Greece) on the 11th February 2015 with the aim to inform representatives of central, peripheral and local water authorities, as well as local stakeholders on the socioeconomic aspects of the project in order to secure their future cooperation. Fifty-one regional and local stakeholders, involved in the water management of the Evrotas basin, attended the meeting. Their active participation was essential for the formulation of alternative proposals for the improvement of current practices and policies of water resources management, within the framework of GLOBAQUA, as well as for the updating of the Evrotas River Basin Managements Plans. After a brief welcome by the Mayor of Sparta Mr. Voliotis, Mr. M. Anastasiadis (Directorate of Technical Services, Municipality of Sparta) summarized the rules and regulations concerning the water use in Greece, and the main requirements of the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EU, with special emphasis on the Evrotas river. Dr. N. Skoulikidis, research director of HCMR, outlined the aims of GLOBAQUA, followed by Mr. I. Souliotis (ATHENA research centre, Greece) that analysed the socio-economic dimensions of the project. Finally, Mr. P. Ker Rault (ALTERRA Wageningen University & Research Centre, the Netherands) focused on the economic valuation of the Evrotas River ecosystem services. The importance of the cooperation of various local and regional stakeholders with the researchers of ATHENA and ALTERRA and their active participation to the next stakeholders workshops were particularly stressed by all speakers.

The second Evrotas Case Study Meeting took place in Sparta (Greece) on the 4th June 2015 with the aim to discuss with the local stakeholders the services provided by the natural ecosystem and to identify their value for the society. In Evrotas case study important work is conducted in the fields of hydrological, biophysical and ecological modelling, socio-economics and governance science, knowledge brokerage and policy advocacy in order to study the interaction of multiple stressors in freshwater ecosystems within the frame of strong pressure on water resources. In total 28 local representatives of various agencies and public bodies attended the workshop. The workshop was facilitated by Philippe Ker Rault and Joke Luttik from ALTERRA. The concept of ecosystem services was extensively discussed for the Evrotas river basin. Stakeholders also commented on potential scenario developed by the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) and adopted by the GLOBAQUA project.

Several questionnaires were filled-in by the stakeholders to gather local perception of benefits but also threats on ecosystem services. Data will be used to develop an opinion poll about environmental policies that will be conducted in the Evrotas in 2016. All scientific results will be presented in 2017 within the second participative stakeholders workshop. These results will be an opportunity to have a new way of implementing the Water Framework Directive and to open-up public discussion regarding water management policies.

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