Author(s): Elpida Kolokytha, Charalampos Skoulikaris
Linked Author(s): Elpida Kolokytha
Keywords: Transboundary water management; Greece; Dependencies; Climate change;
Abstract: Transboundary water management has a crucial global role, with one of the major challenges to be the allocation of shared water resources and their benefits between upstream and downstream countries. At the same time, different economic, social and political drivers hinder the understanding of the changing conditions in response to changing stresses, as climate change impacts will increase uncertainty, tensions and conflicts over constantly decreasing water resources. In Greece, 25% of national water resources belongs to five transboundary river basins on the Northern part of the country. In four out of these five basins Greece is on the unfavourable downstream part. In this paper, each of the river basins is investigated by considering the specific hydrological characteristics and management status at basin scale. In all case studies, the major conflicts between the countries are identified. The dependencies in relation to climate change are also discussed. Our work contributes to better understanding of upstream–downstream dynamics in reviewing the various problems on water allocation, pollution and floods. The results demonstrated that, in specific cases, the proposed by the EU WFD measures have significantly improved water quality and quantity issues. However, there are also further dependencies, such as the absence of common river basin management plans, which could jeopardize the sustainable transboundary water management.