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Area: 5888268 km2
Brazil; Peru; Suriname; France; Colombia; Guyana; Bolivia; Venezuela; Ecuador
Santa Cruz; Manaus; La Paz
HydroBasin Level:
Baseline Water Stress:
Water Quality Stress:
Sanitation Access Stress:
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City & Country

Quick Info

2.91 out of 5
WWF Country Risk Score
61 out of 248 Countries
WWF Country Rank
Total Organizations: 10
Total Projects: 7
Priority SDGs: Sustainable Agriculture (SDG 2.4)
Increase Access to Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (SDG 6.1 & 6.2)
Water Quality (SDG 6.3)
Water Use Efficiency (SDG 6.4)
Integrated Water Resource Management (SDG 6.5)
Protect and Restore Ecosystems (SDG 6.6)
International Cooperation and Capacity Building (SDG 6.a)
Stakeholder Participation (SDG 6.b)
Water-Related Disaster Management (SDG 11.5)
Sustainable Production (SDG 12.4)
Climate Resilience and Adaptation (SDG 13.1)
Priority Regions: Maritsa
Priority Industries: Biotech, health care & pharma
Food, beverage & agriculture
Organization Types:
NGO / Civil Society
Coalition / Consortium
International Organization
Multi-stakeholder Organization
Profile Completion: 73%

Water-Related Challenge Costs

Total annual estimated cost to address all water-related challenges: $1,517,452,471.00

Share of total annual estimated cost to address each individual challenge (2015 $USD):

  • Access to Drinking Water: $65,244,055.00 - [4%]
  • Access to Sanitation: $115,453,909.00 - [8%]
  • Industrial Pollution: $22,843,164.00 - [2%]
  • Agricultural Pollution: $156,122,692.00 - [10%]
  • Water Scarcity: $904,879,905.00 - [60%]
  • Water Management: $252,908,745.00 - [17%]

For more about this data, see information on WRI’s Achieving Abundance dataset here.

Water Challenges

As reported by organizations on the Hub.

No challenges found.

Country Overview

1.1.1.WATER RESOURCES Greece has a Mediterranean climate with mild and rainy winters, relatively warm and dry summers and many hours of sunshine almost all year. The coldest months are January and February, with mean minimum temperatures ranging between 5-10°C near the coasts and 0-5°C in mainland areas, and lower values (below freezing) in the northern part of the country. The warm season lasts from April until September. The warmest period is in July and August, with mean maximum temperatures in the range 29-35 C. Precipitation is concentrated in the cold period, with almost no precipitation in the warmest months. The amount of rainfall is approximately halved in the eastern part compared to the western part of the country [HNMS, 2009]. Greece has a long-term average annual precipitation of 652mm/year. The long-term average of annual renewable water resources is 74,250 million m³/year of which 78 per cent are considered internal water resources (57,915 million m³) and around 22 per cent are considered external water resources (16,335 million m³). As at 2009 the total dam (reservoir) capacity was 11,770 million m³. Climate change is said to directly affect weather conditions. Since the end of the 1990s, the temperature in Greece has been increasing, especially during the summer. There is a trend of decreasing precipitation, mainly between 1980 and 2000, with a trend of increasing precipitation over the following years. Extreme weather conditions, including flooding, drought, heat-waves and storms, also occur [NCESD, 2009]. The impacts of climate change may be environmental, economic and social (e.g. biodiversity loss, increased insurance in flood-risk zones, changing holiday patterns). However, in Greece, freshwater issues are related to quantity rather than quality. Greece has an uneven spatial mean annual and seasonal rainfall distribution, resulting in rather small catchment areas, small lakes and relatively small rivers, distributed throughout the country. In addition, the catchments in Greece are marked by high spatial differences in morphologic, climatic, hydrographical, petro-graphic and vegetative features. The hydro-geological conditions differ significantly with geographical latitude and longitude. The main aquifers have been formed either from depositions in layers of sand, gravel and shingle or from chalky rocks that become karst due to the flow of water through cracks that were shaped by tectonic movements. It should be emphasised that groundwater that flows in aquifers of the first category can be utilised more easily and therefore has already been exploited intensively. On the other hand, karst groundwater was not abstracted until 1968 and there is still the possibility of further utilisation. The overabstraction/exploitation of groundwater resources has in many instances led to the decline of the water table as well as to the deterioration of water quality, primarily through saltwater intrusion in coastal areas. There are 14 river basin districts in Greece. In the north there are the Thrace, the Eastern, Central and Western Macedonia, and the Epirus. In the central part of the country there are the Western and Eastern Sterea Ellada and the Attica. Finally, in the south there are the Northern, Eastern and Western Peloponnese, the Aegean islands and Crete. The majority of the River Basin Districts (RBD) - in which Greece is divided for an effective management of the water resources - use the largest percentages of their abstracted water for agriculture. In 2007, only in the Attica RBD did the water supply take the largest percentage of abstracted water, since the metropolitan area of Athens is the country’s largest urban centre, representing almost half of the country’s population.

1.1.2.WATER USE Water withdrawal in the country by the year 2007 was estimated to be 9,471 million m³. Of this, 61 per cent (5,820 million of m³) was from surface water, and 39 per cent was from groundwater abstraction (3,650 million m³). A very small portion of the water resources (10 million m³) were produced by desalination processes. This water abstraction can be itemized by user sector. By the year 2007, it was estimated that the water dedicated to agriculture reached 8,458 million m³. These resources were used in 128,000km² from the total area equipped for irrigation of 150,000km², which itself represents a significant percentage ( 47.9 per cent) of the area dedicated to cultivation. Water abstraction for urban purposes was estimated to be 846 million m³; and for industrial uses, 167 million m³. The growing demand for drinking water supply and irrigation has resulted in an intense and frequently unreasonable exploitation of water resources. The metropolitan areas of Athens, Thessaloniki and Patra, which account for most of the population and economic activities, are geographically distant from important water resources. On the other hand, peak demands from agriculture, the greatest water consumer, occur mainly in the summer period. During the same period, drinking water consumption is significantly increased due to tourist activity, especially in the islands where there are no water bodies of significant size. Consequently, available water quantities are presently declining and large areas have or soon will become deficient in water. Water demands in many cases are met by transporting water over long distances, resulting in increased capital, operational and maintenance costs.

1.2.WATER QUALITY, ECOSYSTEMS AND HUMAN HEALTH Until the middle of the last century, surface freshwater in Greece mainly followed the slow rhythm of natural changes, with little or no influence from human activities. However from the 1960s, a number of water bodies situated either in the vicinity of urban areas or in regions with increased agricultural and industrial activity, showed signs of pollution. The phenomena associated with Country Overview - Greece pollution have gradually grown and have recently started to influence smaller and previously unaffected water bodies. Urbanization has been a strong driver of land use change over the post-war period in Greece. Eight million people live in urban areas. Urbanization exacerbates some local environmental problems, such as air and noise pollution, traffic congestion and urban waste disposal. Inappropriate waste disposal and management practices may lead to the degradation of surface and ground waters, air pollution and forest fires. In addition, agricultural production has been intensified in productive areas and, in combination with bad land management, can be a threat for the soil. The implementation of the revised Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) by the year 2011 and the introduction of good agricultural practices, are expected to improve the soil condition in Greece (EEA, 2009). The catchments in Greece are marked by high spatial differences in morphologic, climatic, hydrographic, petrographic and vegetative features and variability in pollution impact . As a result, river and stream habitat, hydrochemical regime and biocommunity structure, vary considerably along their courses. In addition, research on ecological quality assessment is limited and geographically restricted, and classification systems are absent. Hence, the assessment of the ecological quality of Greek rivers is a complex task and needs a special approach, since an optimal ‘ecological quality assessment’ can only be achieved through regional adaptations. The nitrate concentrations in groundwater bodies generally reflect the relative importance and intensity of agricultural activities above them. Mean nitrate concentrations in groundwaters are above the background levels (10mg/l NO3), but well below the parametric value of 50mg/l NO3 [Drinking Water Directive]. Between 2000 and 2007, the annual average nitrate concentrations in Greek rivers decreased by approximately -43.5 per cent (from 2.67 to 1.51mg N/l), reflecting the effect of measures to reduce agricultural inputs of nitrate. Nitrate levels in lakes are generally much lower than in rivers and vary between 0.27mg N/l and 0.44 mgN/l over the period 2000 to 2007. The number of monitoring stations in lakes increased from 13 stations in 2000 to 26 stations in 2007. Phosphorus concentrations in Greek rivers and lakes have generally low levels over the period 2000 to 2007. In Greece, existing policies are effective in reducing loading discharges of nutrients and organics. Much progress was made during the period 1980 to 2008 in equipping Greece with sewerage and wastewater treatment systems, thus satisfying the objectives of the EU Urban Waste Water Directive 91/271/EC (UWWD). Water quality and safe sanitation are considered to be of a high priority and measures have been taken. There is a particular challenge in fully covering the water supply needs of the small islands and remote mountainous villages. In order to comply with the UWWD, by the end of 2008, 91 per cent of the population is expected to have wastewater treatment plants meeting the requirements of the directive, and 88 per cent of this population will be served by sewerage systems. There are 290 treatment plants in Greece, with 242 municipal wastewater treatment plants falling under the UWWD, and smaller plants making up the remainder. The authorities responsible for the operation of most treatment plants are the Municipal Services for Water Supply, but in cases of the Psytalia (Athens) and Thessaloniki treatment plants, the responsible authorities are EYDAP and DEYATH respectively.

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Organizations in Greece

Coca-Cola European Partners plc (CCEP) is a multinational bottling company dedicated to the marketing, production, and distribution of Coca-Cola products. CCEP was created on 28 May 2016 as a result of the combination of the three main bottling companies for … Learn More

To be the leading 24/7 beverage partner. Learn More

We are committed to conducting our business in an environmentally responsible manner, supporting the long-term health of the planet, the success of customers and our people. Our environmental sustainability strategy aims to drive climate action throughout our value chain, use … Learn More

The European Water Partnership (EWP) is an independent value based non-profit organization structured as an open and inclusive member association. The EWP harnesses European capacity, helps to coordinate initiatives and activities in international water issues and undertakes worldwide promotion of … Learn More

Figroglass is one of the global leaders in the Ice Cold Merchandisers (ICM) market and the principal supplier of glass packaging in the high growth markets of West Africa. Learn More

The Global Water Partnership (GWP) is a global action network with over 3,000 Partner organisations in 179 countries. The network has 68 accredited Country Water Partnerships and 13 Regional Water Partnerships. The network is open to all organisations involved in … Learn More

IQ Consult is the initiator and promoter of our CisWEFE-NEX Horizon Europe IA proposal for a "Circular Systemic Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus CCRI Demonstrator for Regions facing Severe Water Stress". For more info about CisWEFE-NEX pls. visit https://view.genial.ly/63fc9c2c092f88001737a3bb/interactive-content-ciswefe-nex-interactive-concept-flow-chart Learn More

Conserve water and help secure water access in those areas at greatest risk: Implement tools to reduce the water footprint of our hotels Mitigate water risk through stakeholder collaboration to deliver water stewardship at basin level Collaborate to ensure adequate … Learn More

Water stewardship has long been one of PepsiCo’s top priorities, and it's an important part of building a Positive Value Chain. As one of the first companies of our size to acknowledge water as a human right, we have a … Learn More

To promote the environmental protection and sound environmental management in Greece. Learn More

Projects in Greece

CONNECTING is a project that will establish the EU as a global leader for climate resilience, collaborative processes, and innovation for Nature Based Solutions by drawing on the experiences from three selected front-running cities in this project: Genk (Belgium), Glasgow … Learn More

EIT Food, EIT Climate, EIT Manufacturing, EIT Raw Materials and BioAzul joined together to start the WATER SCARCITY - EIT FOOD project to find innovative solutions for water scarcity in Southern Europe, funded by the European Union. The project includes: … Learn More

The main goal of this project is to halt the loss of cultural practices that benefit biodiversity in cultural landscapes. Background As commonly known, biodiversity improves the functions of ecosystems and prevents their collapse when environmental changes happen, providing to … Learn More

This project aims to improve the knowledge of the population of the Mediterranean monk seal at the eastern Mediterranean, monitoring their populations, contributing to the identification of critical habitat and creating or impulse conservation actions that would mitigate the negative … Learn More

SuWaNu Europe is a project focused on the reuse of treated wastewater in agriculture. The reason behind is that wastewater when treated according to appropriate standards and methods has a strong potential to complement conventional water resources used in agricultural … Learn More

Each of our operations in the Halkidiki region work to maintain strong relationships with local communities. The company also invests in water-related infrastructure and manages a comprehensive water balance model.Project ResultsWater balance model Learn More

We have solid water reduction programme (opex and capex for water reusing and water reduction initiatives); we set long-term water reduction targets - for the time being these targets are till 2020 and will be extended. We built our Top … Learn More

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