Flood defenses and the role of EYATH

The topic of the anti-flood shielding of Thessaloniki from the point of view of EYATH was developed by the head of the company’s Strategic Planning, Projects and Development Department, Alexandros Mendes, at the TEE/Central Macedonia Department event on the topic “Climate Change – Effects on the Coastal Zone – Flood protection Thessaloniki”, organized on the occasion of this year’s World Environment Day.

Mr. Mendes presented the extensive maintenance and cleaning project that EYATH has undertaken on behalf of the Region of Central Macedonia in the rainwater network, as an important measure to prevent flooding phenomena. In fact, speaking about the problems caused in recent years in Thessaloniki in rain events >15mm, Mr. Mendes mentioned about 929 problems (77.4 per year approximately) in the period 2010-2022, which mainly were related to flooding of ground floors and basements . Accordingly, for rain events >25mm in the same period and around the center, as he said, flooding was recorded in at least 75 places for more than two times. The Director of Strategic Planning of EYATH pointed out the need to complete the ongoing projects but also the need for the immediate implementation of the new projects planned by the PKKM, highlighting of course the role that the citizens of Thessaloniki have as users of the existing – limited capabilities – system of our city’s drainage system (uncontrolled disposal of cooking oil, grease, food waste, garbage disposal and surface clogging of manholes on the streets, etc.)

The presenters of the event “see” the climate scenarios for our country in the next 50 years as ominous. According to the research papers presented, the temperature is expected to increase by 2 to 3.4 degrees Celsius, 15-20 hot days per year and high fire risk days by up to 70%. Especially in Thessaloniki, extreme and severe weather events tripled compared to previous years due to climate change, but also due to man-made interventions and the lack of anti-flooding measures. In any case, according to the conclusions of the event, Greece faces the risk of “submergence” of important sections of the coastline in various regions (Attica, Thessaloniki, Peloponnese, Crete, Dodecanese, etc.) in the coming decades, with corresponding costs for the economy and for local communities, as long as, of course, effective measures to deal with the climate crisis are not taken immediately.