The coastal site of the Schinias Natural Park is situated in the plain of Marathon, a typical Mediterranean environment that hosts important naturally occurring ecosystems (coastal wetlands, sand dunes and a pine forest), but also accommodates greenhouses, requiring high quality water. The multi-layer aquifer system consists of an upper unconsolidated formation of (mostly) fluvial sediments, surrounded and underlain by karstic marbles. Saltwater intrusion is a major issue in the upper aquifer housing the wetland/forest and agricultural activities, while the lower karstic aquifer has significant water flow that discharges directly to the sea.
The aim of the Schinias replication is to test SWS configurations that make use of water from karstic aquifers, adequately treated through novel pollution remediation techniques for the pumped water, including Reverse Osmosis (RO) coupled with Advanced Oxidation Methods (Ozonation/alternative AOPs), in order to ensure the recharge of the upper aquifer with high quality water. Both treatment techniques and recharge operations will be remote monitored and operated, so as to be applicable in similar remote locations.
Key elements of the Schinias replication are:
Demonstration of how a currently unused water source (potentially polluted groundwater and surface water) can be turned into a source for protection, regeneration and financial sustainability for the area (and other similar ones throughout the Mediterranean). This will show the strength of the integrative approach of SWS, solving multiple water resources issues. Schinias will be the second SWS application in fractured hardrock, after the Falster replication.