March 22 has been established by the UN as World Water Day. This year’s celebration is linked to climate change, as water as a natural resource interacts with climate and its rational management contributes to adaptation and mitigation of the effects of climate change. EDEYA, the Hellenic Association of Municipal Water and Sewerage Companies, together with each of the local Public Water Supply companies, had planned events to highlight the role of water and water supply companies in managing the impacts of climate change, but the pandemic affecting our country has changed the agenda. That is why we have chosen to refer to the struggle of our country’s municipal water supply and sewerage companies, the DEYAs, to counter the spread of coronavirus, while reassuring the citizens of our country that the DEYAs, also in these adverse conditions, will continue to provide uninterrupted clean, safe and healthy water as they have done for 40 years now.
The DEYAs are at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic next to the society, which they are serving. This is because water is the most important means of protecting and preventing the transmission of the disease. As soon as the first measures to counter the pandemic were announced, the DEYAs, with a sense of responsibility and as a public utility, took care and prevailed all necessary measures both for the protection of public health and for the safety of their employees. Based on instructions from the Ministry of Health, they have increased the disinfection of water to make consumers feel safe. They also took all necessary measures to ensure the safety and protection of their employees and the public while ensuring the proper operation of services. They have ensured the utmost safety of their facilities so that the water supply to the citizens is continuous and uninterrupted. They suspended all scheduled water interruptions due to overdue debts and according to their abilities stood by the citizens to relieve them.
The DEYAs with a high sense of responsibility will continue to fight the spread of coronavirus by supporting both the citizens and the public health system, providing clean and healthy water to our country’s health facilities.
But the State in turn, considering that the DEYAs rely solely on citizens for their income, should support and assist their big effort to support Greek society and protect it from the collective threat. An exceptional financial assistance and their inclusion into the pandemic-affected sectors will relieve and empower these companies. Otherwise there is a risk of collapse with disproportionate consequences for public health and society.