Dry stone infrastructure to address water scarcity

In a collaboration between WWF HELLAS, MedINA, INSPEE and PAROS MUNICIPALITY, aiming to address water shortages on small arid islands, DEYAP supports an inspiring organization by the well-known group BOULOUKI and the PAROS FESTIVAL.

It is an experiential workshop on the construction of small dams in Kavouropotamos on Paros, addressed to a wide audience of craftsmen, students, young professionals and with the participation of volunteers. The aim of the action is the enrichment of the aquifer, the upgrading of the landscape and biodiversity, as well as information, awareness and active action of citizens.

Article from BOULOUKI

Touring workshop on traditional building techniques

In places where water was a scarce commodity, communities adopted a variety of practices to deal with the problem of water scarcity. One of the traditional water management practices lost to time is small-scale detention dams along periodic-flow stream in riverbeds.

The purpose of these small, low-height dams was initially to reduce the gradient of the stream bed and to collect small amounts of water for irrigation purposes. However, in the face of the challenge of climate change and anthropogenic pressures, small dams perform three additional functions for the environment and humans:

  • By reducing the flow rate of water and retaining some of it, it is possible to achieve greater penetration into the ground, thus enriching the underground aquifer.
  • During periods of heavy rainfall, they retain significant amounts of water and sediment, thus reducing the risk of flooding in settlements that are usually located in coastal areas at the mouths of streams.
  • They are hot-spots of biodiversity: the shallow water reservoirs they create are small oases for arid island ecosystems, providing suitable habitats for many species of flora and fauna, especially during periods of drought.

In order to scientifically document the multiple functions of these microbarriers, WWF Hellas, the Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Man (MedINA), the Institute of Speleological Research of Greece (INSPEE), the Municipal Water Supply and Sewerage Company of Paros (DEYAP) and the Municipality of Paros are implementing the project “Stone Terraces: A green infrastructure to address water scarcity on small arid islands”

In the framework of the above project, Boulouki and the Paros Festival jointly organize an experiential workshop on the construction of small dams in Kavouropotamos of Paros, a stream of periodic flow in the southeast of the island.
The experiential workshop is addressed to the general public and has 15 participation places mainly for students and young professionals from the fields of applied arts, engineering and construction, cultural management, environmental sciences and other related disciplines.

The duration of the workshop is 4 days (1-4 June 2022) and includes participation in the field work on the construction of dry stone terraces in Kavouropotamos (between the settlements of Lagada and Aspro Chorio) as well as parallel educational activities and guided tours on the island.

The fieldwork will be carried out under the guidance of three experienced master craftsmen-trainers from Paros and will include all stages of construction, from the collection of the raw material to the foundation and the completion of the small dam. At the same time, technical, institutional, cultural and environmental issues arising from the project and its various implications will be discussed, such as the proper management of natural resources and the use of local raw materials in technical works.

Important dates and information
Application deadline: 10 May 2022
Notification of acceptance: by 15 May 2022
Workshop dates: 1st June – 4th June 2022

Location: Kavouropotamos, Paros, Cyclades, Aegean Sea, Greece

Participation cost: 200€*

The workshop participation fee includes accommodation for five nights in Paros (Tuesday, 31 May 2022 – Saturday, 4 June 2022), one snack and one meal per day, as well as all transportation within the workshop programme.

*The participation fee for those staying in Paros is 50€ (accommodation not included)