Med-RESET aims to re-introduce the traditional practice of constructing stone-built weirs on ephemeral streams in arid Mediterranean islands as a green infrastructure for aquifer enrichment, flood and drought risk reduction and biodiversity enhancement through a pilot demonstration on the Cycladic Island of Ios, Greece.
This practice, whose roots are lost in the past, is part of a wider palette of traditional water management practices that have supported the livelihoods of insular communities in Greece for millennia and are the manifestation of their collective knowledge and wisdom on the wise use of scarce water resources. Nowadays, its re-introduction has multiple benefits that can promote better water management and build climate resilience in arid Mediterranean islands in the face of more frequent heatwaves and dry spells, less availability of freshwater and more intense droughts and rainfall events. Stone-built weirs on ephemeral streams, rooted in local cultural heritage, is a low impact practice that can enhance biodiversity and contribute to the recharging of the aquifer and to the response to flood and drought risk and impacts.
The Med-RESET project aims to
A. Construct a network of 50 stone-built weirs in its intervention area on the island of Ios and pave the way for the positioning of an additional 120.
B. Expand knowledge on the impact of stone-built weirs on ephemeral streams on biodiversity and the aquifer through pre and post construction monitoring and its potential for flood and drought risk reduction through a hydro-geological and hydraulic study.
C. Engage the local community through volunteer opportunities and environmental education.
D. Train national and local stakeholders on the construction of stone-built weirs through a hands-on workshop.
E. Promote the results on a national and international level to trigger a more widespread re-introduction of this practice in other Greek and Mediterranean islands.
The project Med-RESET benefits from the support of the Donors’ Initiative for Mediterranean Freshwater Ecosystems (DIMFE). The project is co-funded by the Municipality of Ios and implemented under the coordination of MedINA in collaboration with Boulouki, Save Ios and WWF Hellas.
Featured image: The Med-RESET project area in Ios. © G. Koutropoulos/Boulouki