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100 000 pools "drink" Greece's water

21 April 2009 / 12:04:25  GRReporter
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The last few years brought a new trend of having pools on the small and waterless Cycladic islands. Except for the pleasure and relaxation that pools offer, they deepen the problem with the drought. In order for a small 5 by 10 pool to be full all summer it needs the water, which a person needs for 480 days.

Based on information by companies in the sector, the private pools in the country are about 100 000 and each year another 6000-7000 are added. The most pools are on the Cycladic islands and the leader is Mykonos, followed by Crete, Chalkidiki, and the newly occupied regions around Athens – Gerakas and Palini. People who would like to install a pool on their balconies or in their gardens are also increasing.

Mr. Konstantinos Stavridis, marketing manager of Piscines Ideales says that his firm “has made 1 150 pools in 2008 and in 2007, about 1000.” Mr. Stavridis notes that Greeks no longer want to have pools “just to brag about it,” but because of health reasons as well. “Of course that having a pool contributes to the prestige of the owner but this is no longer a luxury, because in the last year, the pool’s price fell with 80%. So the conclusion is that Greece will become like America – every house will have a pool,” adds Mr. Stavridis.

The price of a 5 by 10 pool is between ?15 000 and ?20 000, i.e. as much as a regular car. According to Mr. Stavridis, “almost everyone who builds a house, asks about a pool as well.”

The mayor of Ios island Mr. Georgios Pouseos says that that there are about 100 pools on the island, which “not only harm the environment by wasting too much water but also they do not match aesthetically with the traditional architecture of the island.” During summer, the island needs 2500 cubic meters of water per day, in order for the local citizens and tourists needs to be covered. In order to be able to cover those needs, they use all means – even the central station for desalination of the sea water. The mayor of the island claims that “tourists might find us attractive as a destination even without pools, because tourist agencies pressured us to offer more luxurious services, which do not match the island’s style.”

On the other hand, the mayor of Santorini Mr. Angelos Rousos has the opposite opinion and claims that: “You cannot have tourism without a pool. The solution is not to forbid pool construction but to create more water desalination stations.”

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