📍Water Academy at the Marathon Dam, Greece
📆 22nd July 2022
The Water Academy with the title: “Nature-Based Solutions in Urban Water Management in Greece” will take place on the 22nd of July at Marathon Dam in Greece as part of the Cross-KIC project Finding innovative solutions for water scarcity in Southern Europe co-organized by ATHENA RC-SDU and EIT Climate-KIC in partnership with EYDAP. The Academy will be split into two sections, during the first one, the speeches will take place and in the second part, the participants will be grouped into teams and work on Urban-Water related challenges.
Water is essential for human health, socioeconomic development, and the provision of long-term environmental services. Natural processes (e.g. precipitation, infiltration, evapotranspiration, condensation, etc.) sustain a large cycle in nature, which is disrupted by urbanization and man-made water systems. As a result, water has been forced into the linear model of “take-make-consume-dispose,” which is economically unsustainable and results in a gradual degradation of water quality as it passes through the system. The move to circular water systems necessitates a rethinking of water infrastructure, the application of cutting-edge technology, and the integration of nature-based ecosystems into grey infrastructure (i.e. hybrid infrastructure). Nature-based solutions (NBS) can be thought of as a catch-all term for addressing the above-mentioned challenges in a more sustainable way, compared to conventional hard engineering. NBS are systemic initiatives that bring more and more diversified natural characteristics and processes into the environment. They solve a single problem (i.e. societal challenge) or a set of problems (i.e. multiple challenges) while also providing environmental, social, and economic advantages, such as biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, resilience, human well-being, and so on.
The workshop that will take place in Marathon Dam on July 22nd, 2022 intends to increase the competencies and skills of the audience to advance the understanding and integration of NBS in urban water management. It will be a multi-disciplinary event with high-profile speakers who will provide practical insights on the most relevant topics for NBS such as the role of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, socio-economic aspects, best practices, protection and restoration of environment services in a water catchment, adequate technologies for water reclamation, risk management and practical recommendations for water resources managers. The workshop will include a field visit to the Marathon Dam, which is the primary water supply of Athens. The dam is famous for being the first recorded occurrence of seismic activity related to reservoir inundation, as well as its importance in Greece’s industrialization.