North Greece, GR
The Axios river basin is located in Central North Greece. It is a transboundary river, originating in the Balkan peninsula and flowing into Greece to form a delta, next to the city of Thessaloniki. The estuary is protected by “Natura” network, for its diversity of flaura and fauna as a breeding ground for migrating birds.
Most of the water supply comes from groundwater, the rest from the rivers Gallikos and Loudias and is used for irrigation (72%) and drinking water (22%). Groundwater has been proven to be contaminated by heavy metals (Mn, Ni, As, Cr ), F, B, NO3 and phosphates derived from fertilizers, uncontrolled waste disposal sites and municipal wastewater, sheep housing, farms, poultry farms, slaughterhouses, mills and food production units. Also a wide range of pesticides have been detected in various concentrations due to the extensive agricultural activities.
Under the auspices of FAIRWAY, in this case study we aim to achieve:
- 50 mg NO3/l in the upper phreatic groundwater below agricultural areas,
- 0.1 µg/l pesticides in the upper phreatic groundwater below agricultural area.
This will be done by:
- monitoring, registering and statistically analysing pressures and pollution indicators. Monitoring farmers' practices according to specific cultivation activities. Quantifying applied fertilisers and pesticide use. Taking into consideration livestock production and source identification of pesticides. Designing and implementing activities related to maximization of best agricultural practices.
- Creating a toolbox for 3 cases:
(a) safe waters and remaining this situation through educational programs and relation to other on-going projects in the area,
(b) warning of pollution presence and activities to reverse the problem,
(c) pollution occurrence red alert and immediate actions to overcome.
- Harmonising datasets and validating results with best laboratory practices. Adopting methods of analysis, pollution concentrations and best pollution indicators in all cases.