Water Resources and their Significance
Water is not a commercial product similar to other goods, but is a heritage which must be protected and treated with the appropriate consideration. Both worldwide and in Greece, the pressure on water resources is being reinforced, as a result of the increasing demand for a variety of users for adequate quantity and quality of water. Increasing water pressure on the aquatic environment makes it necessary to implement sustainable policies for the development and management of water resources under conditions of uncertainty, through the planning, implementation and optimal operation of infrastructure projects and management interventions for both supply and demand, e.g. through water saving and reuse measures. A rational development policy must also take into account the management of extreme phenomena and crises such as water scarcity and flood problems and longer-term environmental objectives, such as the long-term protection of water and of the related ecosystems, the improvement of their quality and ecological status and of course the gradual reduction of discarded pollutants and the progressive elimination of toxic waste.
Moreover, as the highest rate of the world’s population and human activities takes place in the coastal zone, addressing water pressure related to availability and quality, protecting the coastline from marine erosion and forming beaches with good water quality are of significant importance. At the same time, the impact of climate change with the expected rise in sea levels makes it underlines the importance of integrated management with appropriate measures and projects. Particularly in Greece, the existence of very extensive coastlines and island clusters highlights the management of the coastal zone as a critical factor for the environment and the development of the country.