The islands of Patmos and Arki in the eastern Aegean have achieved water autonomy with the creation of desalination units, ending their longtime dependency on water tankers.
The units were acquired in 2012 but then the plan was abandoned. Work to set up and operate them, along with the refinery and accompanying projects got under way again in December 2016 and was completed in early June 2017. The capacity of each unit reaches 240,000 cubic meters of drinking water per year - enough to meet the needs of Patmos and Arki.
It is estimated the project will save the state 1.2 million euros on average annually from the transport of water to the two islands and increase the water available to locals and tourists. The contractor will be responsible for operating and maintaining the units for five years, after which their management will be passed over to the municipality of Patmos.
"Without water autonomy, the islands would have to opportunity or development," Deputy Shipping Ministry Nektarios Santorinios said during the inauguration of the units in Patmos.
He also said similar projects are planned for the small islands of Kastelorizo, Lipsi, Amorgos, Kimolos, Iraklia and Marathi.