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An environmental database for the status of freshwater in Greece

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Tsouni A., Zervos N., Hadjibiros K. and Andreadakis A.
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An environmental database has been created, recording water bodies at a national level and assembling
relevant data collected by various public services and institutions in charge of water resources
management and research in Greece. Data consists of physico-chemical parameters, geomorphological
descriptions, inventories of fauna and flora species, environmental pressures, vulnerability evaluation
and other information useful for the assessment of current and future ecological status. Data
gathering has proven to be a challenging task, due to the large number and the generally small size of
the surface freshwater bodies as well as the numerous competent services and institutions and the
multiple and sometimes conflicting responsibilities that therefore result. The latter is also partly the
cause of lack of continuity of data, gaps or sometimes questionable reliability. Performing a global
data overview, we note that (a) ecological status can be characterized as good for the majority of the
sites, especially for small mountain streams, and (b) the general trend in most cases is degradation of
current conditions, related either to anthropogenic pressures or to human activity combined with
natural factors. This database, in a more completed and enriched form, could assist in the implementation
of 2000/60/EC Directive in Greece and the establishment of reference conditions of surface
freshwater systems.