The development of the Athens water supply system and inferences for optimizing the scale of water infrastructures

G.-F. Sargentis, R. Ioannidis, G. Karakatsanis, S. Sigourou, N. D. Lagaros, and D. Koutsoyiannis, The development of the Athens water supply system and inferences for optimizing the scale of water infrastructures, Sustainability, 11 (9), 2657, doi:10.3390/su11092657, 2019.



Modern organized societies require robust infrastructures, among which hydraulic projects, such as water supply and drainage systems, are most important, particularly in water-scarce areas. Athens is a unique example because it is a big city (population 3.7 million) located in a very dry area. In order to support the development of the city, large hydraulic projects had to be constructed during its history and, as a result, Athens currently has one of the largest water supply systems in the world. Could Athenians choose smaller scale infrastructures instead? Analyzing social, technical and economical historical data, we can see that large capital investments were required. In order to evaluate these investments this paper presents a technical summary of the development. An economic analysis displays historical values of these investments in present monetary values. The cost of existing infrastructure is compared to the cost of constructing smaller reservoirs and a model is created to correlate the price of water and the cost of water storage with the size of reservoirs. In particular, if more and smaller reservoirs were built instead of the large existing ones, the cost of the water would significantly increase, as illustrated by modelling the cost using local data.

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Our works that reference this work:

1. A. Koskinas, and A. Tegos, StEMORS: A stochastic eco-hydrological model for optimal reservoir sizing, Open Water Journal, 6 (1), 1, 2020.
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Tagged under: Hydrosystems