- 22 March 2019
- Posted by: eyath-news
- Category: All News
We had the opportunity to find out, firsthand, what EYATH does for the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 – SDG6 the citizens of Thessaloniki at the two stands that were set up in the city center on the occasion of today’s World Water Day. At the same time, “water experts”, from international organizations to local municipal businesses, sat down for the first time at a joint conference table at AUTH, exploring convergences and synergies for “water for all by 2030!” and universal access to sanitation – both conditions of global prosperity.
On the two stands of EYATH, on the pedestrian street of Agias Sofias and in Kamara, the company informed the passing by citizens about Objective 6 and how it ultimately affects our lives, through the applications it finds at the political, research and business level of the competent sanitation water companies such as EYATH. In addition, except of informational material, to the citizens were distributed basil seeds as a symbolic move, in the sense that today we must plant the seeds of sustainable development for tomorrow’s planet.
At the same time, representatives of European and international water networks (Eureau, APE, GWOPA), international bodies for sustainable development and sustainability (UNESCO, 100 Resilient Cities), water and sanitation companies of the Mediterranean countries, EHAT, EYDAP and DEYA Union exchanged views on their best practices and future water and sanitation objectives contained in SDG6.
The importance of a holistic approach to water supply and sanitation issues and a new culture, which will include water safety, household management, circular economy and process certification, was highlighted by Alexandros Makarigakis, UN Program Coordinator. He even stressed that rational irrigation water management (agriculture is by far the most aquatic “user”) could secure drinking water for decades to come!
The Objective 6 relationship with Justice and Democracy, our country’s sustainable development policies and institutional initiatives, such as flood risk management plans, was highlighted by Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy Socrates Famellos. “The new framework for water pricing, which provides analysis and ultimately cost savings, as well as social tariffs are institutional initiatives of substance that bring us closer to the European family and provide us with conditionality. EYATH is the first company in the country to implement a pricing policy based on the new legal framework!”, said Mr. Famellos, rewarding the water safety and alternative water supply plan in Thessaloniki implemented by EYATH to prevent water scarcity incidents such as this one. The Deputy Minister also linked Objective 6 to Objective 11 on sustainable cities and Objective 13 on climate, stressing the need for climate change to be the same funding parameter for its counter-plans.
Projects and strategic planning are the two pillars for the implementation of sustainable development in water, said EYATH President and CEO, Professor John N. Krestenitis. “From 2019 we are implementing a new, lower pricing policy that ensures the viability of the company and the viability of its investments. We are about to start on essential, sustainable development projects such as expanding the Water Treatment Plant and reinforcing the Aravissos aqueduct, as well as drainage projects such as those in the Dendropotamos area, of major importance to public hygiene, “said Mr Krestenis: “Smart water meters, which we pilot, are another sustainable management tool, since they control leakage and consumption. But ‘work’ within the same Goal 6 is our ongoing collaboration with local communities and communities, beyond the official water bodies. Such a ‘conversation’ with the Thessaloniki society is, after all, our present action, with our kiosks in the center of town to celebrate World Water Day. ”
All the rapporteurs highlighted the social dimension of Objective 6 and the importance of involving citizens and social actors in the issue of sustainable water systems management.
The international forum “SBA6 – Drinking Water and Sanitation: Communal Services for the Society” (“SDG6 – Sustainable Urban Water and Sanitation: Public Goods in the Service of Society”) co-organized by EHATH with the UNESCO Center for Integrated and Interdisciplinary Water Management Resources (KEODDYP) of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Region of Central Macedonia, EYDAP and the DEYA Association, under the guardianship of the Greek National Commission for UNESCO and the Ministry of the Environment.