Aoos River Diversion and Hydroelectric Projects, Greece

The Aoos river diversion project involves the construction of hydroelectric power plant, although areas are registered in NATURA 2000. There is opposition as the benefits are controversial. The project is temporary suspended, but included in the RBMP.


Aoos river is located in Central Greece. It emanates from the north Pindos mountains, crosses Albania and flows into Adriatic Sea. It has a total length of 260km, 70km of which flows through Greece. Eight areas are registered in NATURA 2000 Network in Aoos’ river basin.

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Basic Data
NameAoos River Diversion and Hydroelectric Projects, Greece
ProvinceEpirus Region /West Macedonia Region
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Water access rights and entitlements
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Aquaculture and fisheries
Interbasin water transfers/transboundary water conflicts
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsTransfer of 70 mil. m3 of water per year to the Lake Pamvotis. Construction of 80 km long canal.

20 mil. m3 will be used on the existing DEH hydroelectric power plants of Chrysovitsa and Pournari I & II. For the rest 50 mil. m3 , two new hydroelectric power stations are planned to be built with capacity of 7.80 MW (Grevenitiou) and 11.60 MW (Pamvotis)
Project Area (in hectares)196,974 h
Level of Investment (in USD)116,493,962
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected PopulationEpirus Region 336.856 West Macedonia Region 301.522
Start Date16/10/2012
Company Names or State EnterprisesPublic Power Corporation Renewables SA (DEH-PPC Renewables SA) from Greece
Relevant government actorsSpecial Secretary for Water; Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change;

Regional Authority of Epirus; Municipality of Konitsa; Northern Pindos National Park Management Agency
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersEpirus Confederation; Hellenic Alpine Club of Ioannina ;

Greek River Friends ;

WWF Greece,; Kallisto; Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature; Pindos Environment, Arcturos;

Epirus Environmental Organisations Network;

Arachthos River Protection Association; Ioannina Environmental Protection Association;

Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos ; Network for the protection of the rivers;
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Air pollution, Desertification/Drought, Fires, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Noise pollution, Soil contamination
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Displacement, Land dispossession
Project StatusUnknown
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Court decision (undecided)
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Development of AlternativesAs the main reason of the Pamvotida lake degradation is the pollution, the construction of dykes and the real estate development across the lake, the stakeholders who object the water transfer stand up for an integrated water management in the river basin and law enforcement in order to revitalize the lake. Furthermore, concerning the hydroelectric power stations that are foreseen to be constructed, the main argument is that the degradation of the protected ecosystems is of major importance and that the rivers should not be converted into close water pipeline, especially within NATURA 2000 Network sites.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.As the project is included as hydroelectric one in the River Basin Management Plan and as the decision of the Council of State has not yet been issued, it’s obvious that the case hasn’t been closed. Furthermore, the two companies that promote the project seem to be interested for its construction. Given this, there’s always the potential for the Ministry to proceed to the works.
Sources and Materials

Official Gazette for the Nothern Pindos National Park Foundation [ ]

Epirus River Basin Management Plan
[click to view]


[1] Katsikis A., 2014, The Aoos river and the diversion from the values of sustainable development
[click to view]

[2] Drougias D., Kontoyiannis P., Drougias Chr. and Giannoulis G., 2013, Can mistakes correct mistakes? Oikotrives,
[click to view]

[3] Papadimitriou Yiannis, 2014, The battle for Aoos’ survival
[click to view]

[4] Greek River Friends, 2009, The updated Aoos diversion plan is dropped
[click to view]

[5] Protect Aoos, 2013, The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change is «dribbling» to promote diversion of Aoos River
[click to view]

[6] Nothern Pindos National Park Management Agency, 2015, Aoos River Diversion []

[8] Protect Aoos, 2012, Dikes and pollution are killing Pamvotida
[click to view]

[9] Papadimitriou Yiannis, 2013, The political dimensions of Aoos’ battle (Vovousa, 29-6-2013)

[12] Protect Aoos, 2013, The orderly legalization of Aoos river illegal diversion in the EC and the Parliament
[click to view]

[7] Protect Aoos, 2013, Immeasurable effects
[click to view]

[10] Protect Aoos official site
[click to view]

[11] Protect the waters and the environment of Aoos
[click to view]

[11] Protect the waters and the environment of Aoos
[click to view]

Media Links

Protect Aoos, 2013, I am the river
[click to view]

Other Documents

Conference against Aoos Diversion, Vovousa 29/6/2013
[click to view]

Ecocamping 2014
[click to view]

Aoos ecocamping poster
[click to view]

Banner against Aoos diversion
[click to view]

Banner against Aoos diversion in Ioannina
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorErmioni Frezouli, Geography Department - Harokopio University Athens (HUA).
Last update11/03/2016