In the period of 2013 – 2015 the Ministry of Agriculture has managed to save approximately €80 million by ordering smaller quantities of water from desalination plants in relation to the three previous years, data acquired by CNA shows.
The savings are a direct result of a political decision taken two years ago by Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Nikos Kougialis to buy less water from desalination plants despite low levels of water in the dams.
According to the data the government paid about €188 million, of which 63 million in 2010, €75 million in 2011 and €50 million in 2012.
Since 2013 the government buys water from desalination plants of a value of 36 million euro per year. In the years 2013 – 2014 the water bought was of a total value of €72 million.
According to official data on the levels of water in dams in the 12 months between October 2012 and September 2013, the total water quantities in dams came to 94 million cubic metres, while in the period between October 2013 and September 2014 it came to merely 12.33 million cubic metres.
The quantities of water in the dams from October 2014 until today comes to about 90 million cubic metres.
Asked by CNA to comment on the data Kougialis said that “the decision taken at the time was right, despite the fact that the budget for water purchase was higher.”
At the same time he pointed out that the government should take into consideration the needs there are, dam levels and the state`s finances.
He said that in the three years 2013 – 2015 a lesser quantity of water will be bought by desalination plants and therefore the state will save approximately €80 million in relation to the previous three years.
He expressed the point of view that the money saved “could be used in other sectors of the economy or event to enhance the state social policy or the agricultural policy”.