Major River in Greece Could be Diverted


Cotton could change the course of the Achelos, a major river in Greece. According to Deutsche Welle Radio, a new law has passed that could allow the Greek government to proceed with a diversion project which has been firmly opposed by environmental groups--including WWF Greece, (World Wide Fund For Nature), Hellenic Society for the Protection of the Environment and Cultural Heritage (ELLINIKI E TAIRIA), the Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS), and the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (HSPN)--for years. Mismanagement of irrigation for cotton crops, lavish use of water in urban areas, and the progressive lowering of the area's underground water level have led to the water shortage, according to the environmentalist groups. The river, Deutsche Welle reports, makes its way through sensitive wet lands richly populated with birds. A dam more than 100 meters high makes the diversion possible. Since 1994, four previous attempts to pass laws in favor of the diversion have been denied. The environmental groups also note that the European Union, which is not funding the project, is trying to phase out the cotton farmers in this region. :: Deutsche Welle ::International Nature Network