Can an environment-friendly management policy improve the overall performance of an artificial lake? Analysis of a multipurpose dam in Greece

A. Efstratiadis, and K. Hadjibiros, Can an environment-friendly management policy improve the overall performance of an artificial lake? Analysis of a multipurpose dam in Greece, Environmental Science and Policy, 14 (8), 1151–1162, doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2011.06.001, 2011.



Taking as example a multipurpose dam in Greece, we wish to show that by following a rational operation policy, where the improvement of the broader environmental system becomes a high-priority target, it is possible to achieve a much more efficient allocation of its “traditional” water uses. In this context, we review the 50-year history of the Plastiras reservoir in central Greece, to highlight the multiple negative impacts from a non-systematic, abstraction-oriented, operation policy. This kind of management is contrasted to a hypothetical one, obtained through a multidisciplinary methodological framework that has been developed ten years ago, which aimed to compromise a number of conflicting water uses. This required establishing a minimum allowable level for agricultural abstractions and stabilising the annual releases for irrigation and drinking water supply. The criteria under study are, directly or indirectly, related to the water storage in the lake. Therefore, the key idea is to investigate the performance of each criterion with regard to the variability of the level, by examining alternative level vs. abstraction control rules. Thus, the quantity of water that would be yearly available is a function of the minimum level allowed and the desirable reliability. In fact, objective analysis indicates that the maintenance of the reservoir level as high as possible is necessary for the conservation of the quality of the lake’s landscape, for the development of tourist activity and also for providing drinking water of good quality. The advantages of the proposed framework are then exhibited through a back-analysis that focuses to the recent period. The implementation of this management policy not only would improve the water and landscape quality as well as the tourist perspectives, but also allow for a much more efficient planning of the agricultural and, under some premises, hydroelectric energy needs. Thus, the adoption of a constant annual release, irrespective of the recent sequence of inflows, may be beneficial for the long-term interests of all social groups and, therefore, conflicts among drinking water supply, tourism, landscape quality, irrigation and hydroelectric production would become less intense. Yet, the practice showed that a consensus between scientists, authorities and stakeholders for establishing the suggested policy is a considerably difficult task.

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Our works referenced by this work:

1. K. Hadjibiros, D. Koutsoyiannis, A. Andreadakis, A. Katsiri, A. Stamou, A. Valassopoulos, A. Efstratiadis, I. Katsiris, M. Kapetanaki, A. Koukouvinos, N. Mamassis, K. Noutsopoulos, G.-F. Sargentis, and A. Christofides, Overview report, Investigation of scenarios for the management and protection of the quality of the Plastiras Lake, Report 1, 23 pages, Department of Water Resources, Hydraulic and Maritime Engineering – National Technical University of Athens, Athens, March 2002.
2. D. Koutsoyiannis, Reliability concepts in reservoir design, Water Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, Surface and Agricultural Water, edited by J. H. Lehr and J. Keeley, 259–265, doi:10.1002/047147844X.sw776, Wiley, New York, 2005.
3. A. Christofides, A. Efstratiadis, D. Koutsoyiannis, G.-F. Sargentis, and K. Hadjibiros, Resolving conflicting objectives in the management of the Plastiras Lake: can we quantify beauty?, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 9 (5), 507–515, doi:10.5194/hess-9-507-2005, 2005.
4. K. Hadjibiros, A. Katsiri, A. Andreadakis, D. Koutsoyiannis, A. Stamou, A. Christofides, A. Efstratiadis, and G.-F. Sargentis, Multi-criteria reservoir water management, Global Network for Environmental Science and Technology, 7 (3), 386–394, doi:10.30955/gnj.000394, 2005.
5. G.-F. Sargentis, K. Hadjibiros, and A. Christofides, Plastiras lake: the impact of water level on the aesthetic value of landscape, Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology (9CEST), Rhodes, B, 817–824, Department of Environmental Studies, University of the Aegean, 2005.

Our works that reference this work:

1. A. Efstratiadis, A. Tegos, A. Varveris, and D. Koutsoyiannis, Assessment of environmental flows under limited data availability – Case study of the Acheloos River, Greece, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 59 (3-4), 731–750, doi:10.1080/02626667.2013.804625, 2014.
2. H. Tyralis, A. Tegos, A. Delichatsiou, N. Mamassis, and D. Koutsoyiannis, A perpetually interrupted interbasin water transfer as a modern Greek drama: Assessing the Acheloos to Pinios interbasin water transfer in the context of integrated water resources management, Open Water Journal, 4 (1), 113–128, 12, 2017.
3. N. Mamassis, A. Efstratiadis, P. Dimitriadis, T. Iliopoulou, R. Ioannidis, and D. Koutsoyiannis, Water and Energy, Handbook of Water Resources Management: Discourses, Concepts and Examples, edited by J.J. Bogardi, T. Tingsanchali, K.D.W. Nandalal, J. Gupta, L. Salamé, R.R.P. van Nooijen, A.G. Kolechkina, N. Kumar, and A. Bhaduri, Chapter 20, 617–655, doi:10.1007/978-3-030-60147-8_20, Springer Nature, Switzerland, 2021.
4. R. Ioannidis, N. Mamassis, A. Efstratiadis, and D. Koutsoyiannis, Reversing visibility analysis: Towards an accelerated a priori assessment of landscape impacts of renewable energy projects, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 161, 112389, doi:10.1016/j.rser.2022.112389, 2022.

Other works that reference this work (this list might be obsolete):

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Tagged under: Course bibliography: Water Resources Management, Environment, Hydrosystems