The project ECOFLOW aims to create a systematic and standardized procedure for assessing ecologically acceptable flows in rivers and streams whose flow regime is impacted by water resource development.
The flow of running waters sustains the web of life, and the ecological quality of waters in an entire river basin. Flow regime impairments has been little-studied in Greece, and remains a much neglected aspect of the national legislation despite the widespread conflicts over water resource management and uses. A specialized consortium of scientists and relevant industry corporations will work together to achieve pioneering research and technological development and provide an important contribution to water-quality protection on a nation-wide level.
The primary aim of this project is to fill this scientific gap between river hydrology and ecosystem sustainability, by developing a multidisciplinary modeling tool that will require and combine hydraulic, hydrologic and ecosystem input data for the calculation of optimum environmental flow in river systems. The proposed simulation model will be an important decision-making tool for solving complex environmental management problems related to economic development and environmental sustainability that usually involve multiple criteria to be equally considered and weighed. The particular model will be also applied to estimate the minimum ecological water flows (required by the National and EU legislation – EC/2000/60), during the design phase of water abstraction schemes (dams and irrigation networks). This model will be used by the public competent authorities, responsible for applying water management practices, in order to facilitate the achievement of minimum ecological water flows downstream of hydraulic ifrastructures.Moreover, the proposed tool will be also used by the environmental consultant companies that contribute to the design and environmental permit processes of such hydraulic constructions in order to improve the design and operation of this infrastructure, which will assist to the minimization of the associated environmental impacts
The H.C.M.R. will cooperate with the University of Athens – Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment and the companies Argyropoylos D.& Synergates Ltd. and AVMap GIS S.A. for the implementation of the project.