In December 2022, a beautiful project undertaken by the Mitato of Amorgos, in collaboration with “Nissos Amorgos” – Association for the Environment and Culture, was completed. “The History of Water” involved the restoration of the water tank in the area “Chorio”, outside the village of Langada on Amorgos Island. The works gave the organisers the opportunity to address water management issues through lectures presented to the public but also through talks and a visit to the work site by the pupils of the Vocational High School of Amorgos.
The project was inspired by the challenging issues concerning water management on islands such as Amorgos, in the Cyclades cluster, Greece. Traditional methods of collecting and distributing this precious resource have been widely neglected or even abandoned, giving way to non-sustainable solutions necessary for the current development of the islands. Although we cannot deny the fact that traditional systems are inadequate for the enormous needs and pressure existing nowadays, it is true that in extreme environments, every source counts and should not be ignored. It is also true that by returning to the traditional, sustainable management practices used in the past, there is a wealth of knowledge and appreciation to be gained, in order to raise awareness among residents and visitors alike in regards to the use of water.
The site of the water tank that was chosen to be restored hosts one of the traditional “springs” of Langada, where rainwater drained through the rocks is naturally collected and used to serve as the main fresh water source of the village until the 1970s.Apart from the restoration of the tank and its return to use, “The History of Water” also involved the construction of sustaining stone walls in its vicinity, in order to sustain the soil and prevent further erosion, as well as the creation of a dry stone paved area in front of the tank. An awareness campaign and education regarding sustainable water management and traditional systems were also launched in the scope of the project.
The following works were completed in the framework of “The History of Water”:
- Clearing of the area - clearing of vegetation, removal of stones and soil covering the site, emptying of the tank and storage of the water collected in nearby wells.
- Restoration of the water tank interior – enhancement of existing waterproofing material and addition of new layers of sand, cement and whitewash.
- Restoration of water tank roof - steel and cement reinforcement.
- Restoration of water tank exterior – enhancement of existing mortar and waterproofing using a mix of sand, cement and whitewash.
- Removal of old, redundant pipes..
- Installation of new pipes - 1 pipe leading to the drain in case of future restoration and/or clearing; 1 supply pipe in case of future connection of the tank to a wider network; 1 pipe for the overflow, incorporated in the restored exterior mortar; 1 main drainage pipe, leading overflow, clearing tank and rainwater drainage, after being collected to the drain, to the basin continuing naturally downstream.
- Installation of taps and valves 2 taps for direct access and use of the tank water and 2 valves for the drainage and supply pipes. A trough existing at the site was relocated under one of the taps.
- Installation of new cement cover above the drain.
- Installation of new lid incorporated in the tank roof.
- Construction of dry stone walls – 21 m of walls of 0.50-0.55 m thickness.
- Construction of new stone pavement,with a surface of 13 m2 approximately, at the front of the water tank.
Construction works were realised by the team of builder Antonios Vlavianos, while the hydraulic works were realised by the team of plumber Leonidas Theologitis.
On Saturday 5 November 2022, an evening event, open to the public, was held at the main hall of the Elementary School of Aegiali. Three lectures were presented:
- Rigas Zafeiriou, coordinator of the programmes on Kythera Island (Kythera Trails, Terra Kytheria), Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (MedINA). . “Aqua Vita” – Green and multifunctional infrastructure for sustainable water management.. — Download file here
- Maria Gini, Secretary General for Water Resources at the Hellenic Ministry of the Environment and Energy. The water resource management plan for the Cyclades: Amorgos Island. Good water management practices. Download file here
- Semeli Drymoniti & Maria Nomikou, The Mitato of Amorgos. The restoration of the water tank in the area “Chorio”, Langada.
On Tuesday 29 November 2022, the students of the Agricultural speciality of the Vocational High School of Amorgos visited the site and were introduced to the philosophy and practical aspects of traditional water management systems and their importance today. The talks were led by the project main contractor Mr Antonios Vlavianos, the engineer Mr Frederikos Krossman-Nassiopoulos and the Mitato of Amorgos representative Ms Semeli Drymoniti.
On Thursday 15 December 2022, Ms Semeli Drymoniti and Mr Frederikos Krossman-Nassiopoulos visited the Vocational High School of Amorgos and presented the completed works to all pupils of the school, as well as their teachers. Mr Krossman-Nassiopoulos, a civil engineer specialized in hydraulic works, having completed his thesis on the water supply network of Amorgos, linked the project of “The History of Water” to the general comprehension of water resource management on the island, comparing traditional approaches to current methods. The presentation gave us the opportunity to consider the effectiveness of all techniques, the value of water in barren areas such as our islands and the need to always combine resource exploitation with conservative use and ways to save water.
The restoration of the tank and the awareness campaign were realised with a grant from Costas M. Lemos Foundation, through the program “Points of Support” , which is financed by eight foundations. The restoration of the area surrounding the tank, including the construction of sustaining stone walls and a dry stone paved area, were financed from the first prize of the Celebrate Islandsvideo competition “My Project in 120 Seconds” that the organisers won in May 2022.
On 10 and 11 February, we had the chance to experience a beautiful weekend in the heart of the Cycladic winter, on the occasion of the 1st Dry Stone Workshop on the island of Paros. The project was organised by “Archilochos” Cultural Association of Paros, along with the Cultural Association of Angeria, and it was a complete success.read more
The Mitato of Amorgos had a wonderful and creative start to 2024! We had the opportunity to take part in the highly interesting Community Mapping Workshop that was organised by Youth Active Minds and Boulouki teams in Kallithea, Aitoloakarnania, Greece, from 2 to 7 January 2024. For four days, we worked with an active team of young people, of various...read more
The autumn season of 2023 has been a period during which several events regarding the intangible heritage, the environment and sustainability have taken place in various parts of Greece. The Cyclades, experiencing unprecedented pressure and limited resources, have no doubt been in the centre of such developments. It was therefore unsurprising that several important events took place in the area, such as the Workshop on the Endangered Landscape of Sifnos Island...read more
The Mitato of Amorgos greatly regrets to announce the cancellation of the 3rd Dry Stone Workshop “The Amorgian Craftsmanship” which was due to be held on the island of Amorgos from 16 to 20 October 2023.
Unfortunately, despite our timely actions, we had to face a new situation from part of the local community at the last minute, and therefore any readjustment of the organization of the event was impossible...
The Mitato of Amorgos is pleased to announce the 3rd Dry Stone Workshop “The Amorgian Craftsmanship”, taking place from 16 to 20 October 2023.
The project is the continuation of the 1st and 2nd Dry Stone Workshops “The Amorgian Craftsmanship” which were successfully realised in October 2021 and 2022 respectively, under the auspices of the Municipality of Amorgos and financed by the Ministry of Culture and Sports...
It was with great pleasure that we accepted the invitation of the newly formed association “Ambassada” in Tinos and we travelled to the “handmade island”, as Cornelius Castoriades has called it, on 22 and 23 April 2023, on the occasion of the conference “Rural Monuments of Tinos: humble buildings, jewels of the landscape”. The association “Ambassada” aims at raising awareness among the residents and visitors of Tinos island towards ...read more
The Mitato of Amorgos participated in the 4th Islanders’ Forum which was successfully organised by the Cyclades Preservation Fund (CPF) on the island of Paros, from 28 to 30 October 2022.
The Forum was attended by 45 participants, representing 30 organisations from 17 islands, from the Cyclades and beyond.
The presentations realised during the first two days aimed at introducing the people and organisations ...
Another succesful completion of the Dry Stone Workshop "The Amorgian Craftmanship" for the second consecutive year
This year, from 10 to 14 October 2022, three local masons, with the assistance of 35 participants that attended the works on site, have created 14 new cobblestone “kadenes” (steps), with a total length of 33 metres, and restored 10 parts of sustaining dry stone walls, with a total length of 39.30 metres.read more
The Mitato of Amorgos is extremely pleased to announce the 2nd Dry Stone Workshop “The Amorgian Craftsmanship”, taking place from 10 to 14 October 2022 on Amorgos.
Following the great success of the 1nd Dry Stone Workshop in October 2021, which was realised under the auspices of ...
It was with great pleasure and pride pride that we attended the online award ceremony held on 18 May 2022, for the video contest “My project in 120 seconds” which forms part of the event Celebrate Islands , once more organised by ...read more