project completed

MICRO-DAMS

in Kavouropotamos of Paros

Dry-stone infrastructure to address water scarcity

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project completed

location: Kavouropotamos, Paros, Cyclades

date: 01/60/2022 - 04/06/2022

co-organisers: Boulouki, Paros Festival

collaboration: WWF Greece, Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (MedINA),  Hellenic Institute of Speleological Research (HISR), Municipality of Paros and Municipal Water Supply and Sewerage Company of Paros 

photography: Grigoris Koutropoulos,

Konstantinos Mavris, Ioanna Ntousi.

How do traditional building techniques combine with addressing serious environmental problems such as water scarcity in island communities?

This issue was approached  through the four-day hands-on workshop on dry stone micro-dams (1-4 June 2022), co-organized with the Paros Festival at Kavouropotamos Paros!

Micro-dams technique constitutes a traditional practice for water management, which presents multiple functions environmentally-wise and for humans: 

  • By reducing the slope of the stream bed, small amounts of water are collected for irrigation.

  • By reducing the flow velocity of water and retaining part of it, it is possible to increase its penetration into the ground, thus enriching the underground aquifer.

  • During periods of heavy rainfall, they retain significant quantities of water and sediments, thus reducing the risk of flooding in settlements, which are usually located in coastal areas at the river streams’ end.

  • They are hotspots for biodiversity: the shallow water reservoirs they create are small oases for arid island ecosystems, particularly during periods of drought.

This issue was approached  through the four-day hands-on workshop on dry stone micro-dams (1-4 June 2022), co-organized with the Paros Festival at Kavouropotamos Paros. For 4 days, 15 participants were trained in the traditional construction of small stone micro-dams along the Kavouropotamos stream, under the guidance of three local masons. With parallel activities we explored the natural and cultural deposit of the island: the vast dry stone walls and terraces of a typical Aegean landscape, the quarrying sites of the famous Parian marble from ancient times to the present day, as well as a traditional lime kiln which was not "burnt" and has remained in place ever since, as a monument of a unique dry stone construction and traditional lime production.  

With parallel activities we explored the natural and cultural deposit of the island: the vast dry stone walls and terraces of a typical Aegean landscape, the quarrying sites of the famous Parian marble from ancient times to the present day, as well as a traditional lime kiln which was not 'burnt' and has remained in place ever since, as a monument of a unique dry stone construction and traditional lime production. The workshop concluded with a presentation of the initiative to the local community and an open discussion on traditional and modern solutions to environmental challenges.

The hands-on workshop was organised within the context of the project “Stone micro-dams: A green infrastructure to address water scarcity on small arid islands” which is implemented by WWF Greece, Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (MedINA), the Hellenic Institute of Speleological Research (HISR), the Municipality of Paros and the Municipal Water Supply and Sewerage Company of Paros.

The workshop is part of the project "Program of cultural actions to strengthen the relationship of the local community of Paros with the natural and man-made environment" integrated in the Local Program CLLD-LEADER / Local Action Group. "Cyclades Development Company SA" / European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe invests in rural areas / Ministry of Rural Food Development / Program οf Rural Development of Greece 2014-2020 / With the co-financing of Greece and the European Union".

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project in process