The master plan by the Dutch company HVA for the reconstruction of the flood-stricken Thessaly plain, including the cost for diverting the Acheloos River, was put up for public consultation yesterday for a period of two weeks, until March 29. The required budget is estimated at 4.5 billion euros.

A comprehensive plan divided into six volumes outlines steps to boost the security of Thessaly’s water resources, fortify flood preparedness, and modernize its agricultural sector.

The strategy addresses both immediate actions to shield Thessaly from future floods and combat water scarcity, as well as long-term solutions involving infrastructure upgrades, agricultural practice reforms, and changing the socio-psychological mindset of local farmers.

Key elements of the plan include the installation of 100 to 250 check dams in smaller valleys, and streams, supplemented by nature-based solutions, to mitigate floods and protect cultivated and inhabited lands. This approach aims to reduce water flow from mountainous regions. Additionally, the plan advocates for precise regulation of existing and future large dams to meet flood management needs.

In tackling water deficits for irrigation and the looming threat of desertification, the plan proposes a sustainable solution: water transfer from the upper reaches of the Acheloos River, in western Greece. Dutch company HVA suggests this measure could bolster water supply by an additional 300 million cubic meters annually, providing a lifeline for Thessaly’s agricultural sector.

Prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis meets farmers from the region of Thessaly at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece on March 11, 2024.