EEA Grants 2014-2021

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“Water Management” Programme

On 31 October 2017 Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway signed a new cooperation agreement with Greece on new Programmes under the EEA Grants 2014-2021. The Programme Agreement for the Greek Environment Programme “Water Management” was signed on 26 November 2019. The Programme is operated by The Greek Ministry of Environment, Executive Authority of the Partnership Agreement, Environmental Sector.

By Decisions of the Minister of the Environment and Energy, projects amounting to a total of 6.500.000€ are funded by the “Water Management” Programme. The projects are financed by EEA GRANTS (80%) and by the Greek Public Investment Programme (20%).

What the Programme Addresses?

Water Saving, Innovative Green Technologies

Projects related to water saving and drinking water supply through desalination units combined with innovative green technologies and the use of renewable energy sources in vulnerable areas and islands. The actions supported through the Programme therefore contribute to Greece’s efforts under the EU Water Framework Directive and their corresponding River Basin Management Plans.

In the Greek islands the demand for water usually surpasses the available water supply during the tourist season. In many areas the water grids are old, which results in considerable leakages and loss of water. These two conditions can lead to water shortage, water quality deterioration and over-abstraction, i.e. use of groundwater.

On smaller islands, water has often been supplied by sea transportation with water tankers, which may be hampered due to bad weather conditions. Additionally, it impacts the environment in terms of emissions and poses risks of marine accidents. The cost of water transportation is high compared to other more permanent solutions like construction of water reservoirs, installation of desalination systems and leakage prevention.

In general, there is a lack of funding focusing on permanent water supply solutions on small islands. Despite the economic and environmental benefits from supplying water locally rather than being transported to the islands, the islands need funding to be able to prevent water leakages or improve their local supply.

Research and Water Bodies

Research that will provide data and solutions to improve the status of water bodies and/or improve water management. The Programme address the need to improve the environmental status of water-based ecosystems by supporting the sustainable use of water. The actions focus on the application of innovative solutions. There is also a need for better data and knowledge about the status of water-based ecosystems for which funding has been set aside for monitoring and research studies.

Small Grand Scheme

Small Grant Scheme for an awareness raising campaign in schools and target groups about sustainable use and protection of the water

The Achievements

The Programme focusses on improving the status of the water bodies mainly on islands that face shortages and/or poor quality of water. This is done by both addressing supply solutions as well as efforts to improve the status of water bodies through the implementation of water saving measures, including measurement and monitoring systems to reduce leakages, and desalination units. Research projects provide data and solutions for the improvement of the status of water bodies or improvement of water management in certain areas. Additionally, support will be given to an awareness campaign for school children highlighting the importance of proper water management and improving the status of water bodies.  The Programme will also create guidelines and best practice materials for water saving for inhabitants and the tourist sector.

The Beneficiaries

The beneficiaries of the Programme are the inhabitants, businesses and tourists of vulnerable areas and islands in Greece. Municipalities are expected to benefit from the reduction of their operating expenses through innovative solutions of water supply and energy saving. It will also have a positive effect on the tourist industry, as improved supply and quantity of water reduces costs and embedding water sustainability into all aspects of their business.

The bilateral relations

The EEA Grants’ Environment Programme in Greece contributes to experience-sharing and promote dialogue and cooperation in areas of mutual interest to Greece and the Donor States. Partnership projects between Greece and Donor Entities is actively encouraged and facilitated.

Availability of funding

The funding in this Programme is made available through open calls:

  • Call 1.1.01 was launched in the second half of 2020 (Call 1.1 _EN)

Small Grant Scheme was launched in the second half of 2021 (Call text SGS1)

Last modified: 12/11/2023

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