Κυριακή, 2 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

Can mistakes correct mistakes?

Translation in English by Faidra Faitaki.

Nikos Palaiologos-phasma2
The Hydroelectric Power Work at Aoosriver started in 1988. Since then, 100.000.000m3 of water has been lost. As a result, Aoos has been reduced to a tributary of the ValiaKalda stream (Arkoudorema) and cannot join  the rivers Voidomatis and Sarandaporos at Konitsa during the summer months as it used to. The trout and nimachilos populations are constantly decreasing. The river’s largest fish species, the sirtari (which resembles the mullet), is now extinct. By contrast, the crayfish population has increased, although the species was not common in Aoos before. The river’s flow velocity has reduced and stagnation has led to an increase in water temperature, as well as poor water ventilation and oxygenation. The bottom of the river is now covered with mud and shows signs of eutrophication.

The potential environmental effects of the workat Aoos were studied hastily and perfunctorily. The studies were carried out after the works for the construction of the Aoos dam had started, and lack scientific validity. However, a different study carried out by the Goulandris Institution has called for the immediate return of a large volume of water from the dam.
In the midst of a dark period of social degradation and political instability, during which popular uprisings are scarce, the idea of constructing a dam in Aoos, in the area above the village Vovoussa, is once again on the table. The relevant Ministry seems unwilling to remove from its agenda a work which will effectively ‘knock out’ the already damaged ecosystem of North Pindos, despite the overwhelming disagreement of North Pindos’s residents and communities.
The consequences of constructing the dam need not be scientifically proved; observing the volume of the water of Aoos (especially during the summer months), the water fauna, the deposition of sludge, and the herbal growth in the formerly stony bottom of the river, makes the consequences obvious.
Constructing a dam in the outfall of ValiaKalda, one of the most renowned Greek Parks, will be the final nail in the coffin for a large part of the National Park of North Pindos and, in particular, for the VikosAoos part, which has been a Natural Park since 1973.
The local community does not simply demand the cancellation of the dam construction plan in the area of Vovoussa; it also wants to stress the importance of the environmental and legal effects of the dam that is already constructed in Aoos.
Why is there an obsession with this work? The issue of constructing the dam frequently comes into (and out of) play. The work is constantly rejected or postponed (in 1995 by the Hellenic Ministry for the Environment Physical Planning and Public Works, and in 2000 by the Minister Ms.Birbili). What do people who bring the issue to the forefront think of Aoos? Is there a comprehensive record of the quantity of water with respect to the intake of water? Why do all relevant proposals and estimations only refer to the point at which Aoos meets the rivers Voidomatis and the Sarandaporos? Is it rational to build a dam within a special conservation area, in view of the consequences that constructing a dam will have on all areas from Vovoussa to Konitsa, which belong in the Natura 2000 scheme?
Indeed, the work might be possible and profitable. But, looking at the situation from a biological and environmental perspective, it is not certain that Aoos can survive the construction of a dam, even if it does not divert a large quantify of water. What makes things even more worrying is that the work will be carried out with fast-track procedures. This means that valuable and necessary environmental studies will be slid over.
Constructing a dam is not a developmental project: it does not create new jobs and does not improve the infrastructure. On the contrary, the environment, which is the basic source of incomefor the area’s inhabitants, is destroyed. However, there might be profit for TERNA S.A., PPC Renewables and whoever they represent.
in Greek here http://protectaoos.blogspot.gr/2013/04/blog-post_367.html

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