HCMR has undertaken the project entitled «Sustainable exploitation of marine and inland water ecosystems and resources of the E. Mediterranean within the frame of blue Growth», which is being financed in the frame of the “Programming Agreements between Research Centers -GSRT/IKY/SIEMENS 2014-2016” and includes three sub-projects.
The second sub-project, entitled “Development of a decision support tool for the sustainable management of water resources, in combination to the optimisation of power production”, is undertaken by the Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters.
Hydrologic alterations in rivers, such as during the construction and operation of hydropower and other power production related dams, affect the overall health of the aquatic and riparian ecosystems, through the actual decrease in water discharge, the disturbance of the natural flows’ seasonal patterns and the degradation of physicochemical water conditions.
These alterations also affect “consumptive uses”, including power production, and have important ecological implications, especially with regard to endangered aquatic species and conservation areas. The primary aim of this project is to ensure, for the first time in Greece, ecosystem sustainability in rivers with dams built either for directly producing hydropower, or for providing cooling waters to other -than hydropower- types of power plants. The aforementioned aim will be achieved by developing an innovative, multidisciplinary modelling tool (that will require and subsequently combine hydraulic, hydrologic, physicochemical and ecosystem input data) for the calculation of optimal environmental water flows, physicochemical conditions and hydroelectric energy production in the dammed rivers under study, which will be usable with appropriate modifications in any such case.

The proposed simulation model will be an important decision-making tool for solving complex environmental management problems concerning river-related power development schemes and environmental sustainability, in accordance with the provisions of the EU Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC). This tool will be used by the managers of power plants and competent public authorities, for applying water management practices that facilitate the achievement of acceptable environmental conditions for the conservation of aquatic biota, synchronously optimising energy production.