Traditional water management practices in the central mountainous area of Andros: Recording, preservation, interpretation and promotion actions
The abundance of water is a defining feature of Andros, when compared to the rest of the Cyclades.
Surface water management in Andros is an ancestral ritual process, a customary practice, which seems to be passed down from generation to generation linked to ownership. The so-called water rights are recorded and exercised in Andros, to this day.
Climate change makes water an even more precious resource than ever before. In recent years, limited rainfall and increased temperatures show the significant risks of water shortages, demonstrated in increased fires, but also the death of several hardy trees even in mountainous areas of Andros.
Considering all of the above, it was deemed vital to study, document and creatively communicate the aquatic wealth of Andros, a valuable timeless resource, and its traditional management practices, to a variety of audiences.
The implementation of the above funded program will include:
- Conducting fieldwork in the central massif, digitally recording all central water sources, cross-checking the recordings with maps from the Hellenic Military Geographical Service, documenting photographs, cataloging water points and providing indicative measurements of water supply per source.
- Conducting historical research using archival materials and collecting testimonies to document the water management practices of the irrigators (“potistades”) of Andros. This includes gathering information from community archives and undertaking a comprehensive recording, mapping, and study of the island’s wise and multifaceted water wealth management system.
- Utilizing historical and field research to compile and submit a dossier for the registration of water management practices in Andros as an item in the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
- Creating a digital tour utilizing the principles of heritage interpretation to communicate the water wealth of Andros and emphasize its importance for the island’s present. The tour aims at engaging residents and visitors, fostering environmental awareness and enriching the tourist offerings of Andros.