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Professors note impact of Skouries mine on hydrological cycle

Three university professors in Greece, who teach forestry, mountain water settlement, and forest soil, write about ‘the role of forest vegetation in the watersheds of streams and the supply of land and resources with clean drinking water’ and note the effect on the hydrological cycle of forest removal for the Skouries mine.

Translated from their text in Greek, they state, “The water that falls on the surface of the earth by atmospheric fallout, some moves over the surface and through streams and rivers to the sea, another part evaporates and another important part percolate through the soil. Since the water that enters the soil, one part retained by the soil and used by plants for their growth, while the rest penetrates into the deeper layers of the soil and feeds the springs and groundwater. Forest vegetation in conjunction with forest soil directly affect the hydrological cycle. Impacting on the penetration and infiltration of water in surface runoff and retention capacity.”

They highlight, “The degradation of soils with the removal or destruction of forest vegetation in the past caused by ignorance or other considerations. Today, in any case not ignorance, but requires knowledge and use it wisely soil resources, since they are part of the Greek natural environment. Any removal of forest vegetation should be treated with great care in our country, because due to the steep slopes of the woodland climate with long hot and dry season, torrential rains and the shallow depth of the soil, there is always a significant risk of erosion soil, devastating floods and water losses due to increased surface runoff.”

“It is almost certain that a forest soil with regular forest and forest floor (xirofyllada) can absorb the most powerful and prolonged rains, so does a runoff even in places with steep slopes. In well forested watersheds provide currents are normal and stable throughout the year. This desired situation improves when the forest vegetation is undisturbed. The streams in northeastern Halkidiki have strong potential flood creation. ..The pararematia vegetation, especially trees , have a determining effect on the retention of the surrounding land.”

“A distinction is thus a reciprocal relationship between pararematia vegetation and groundwater stream. The aquifer stream creates in principle the conditions for installation even demanding moisture species, such as willow, maple trees and alders and then they, over time, develop a rich network of roots hold varying thickness and materials the bank. Any change in the current flow will mark changes in vegetation pararematia. This change may be related to fluctuation of power supply or a change in water quality.”

“In conclusion, we can say with certainty that in the region of rust and particularly in watersheds where going to build dams deposition of mining waste, the prevailing soil conditions are prohibitive in any disorder. Even the slightest disturbance of these lands is absolutely sure to make substantial changes in the hydrological water cycle. Science can not coexist within catchments dams and waste disposal supplies drinking water for residential areas.”

And they poignantly leave us with this, “Offsets from such activity is not at all comparable to the value of conservation and the existence of pure drinking water.”

Further reading
Vancouver-based mining company threatens Greece’s water, trees under austerity measures
Women protest Canadian mining company’s forest cutting in Greece
Timeline of Skouries mine struggle
Golden Times – Cassandra’s Treasure documentary