2019 Biodiversity

Hotamis Marshes

Hotamis Marshes have completely dried out as a result of State Hydraulic Works interventions to the water regime through discharge and irrigation channels since mid 1990s. Previously spreading to some 17.400ha the marshes dropped to 8.000ha in 1990 and dried out in early 2000s. The main threat in the area currently is the storage dam intended to be built at the site as an extension of the State Hydraulic Works Blue Tunnel Project. Even though many parties and especially State Hydraulic Works claim that they will save the marshes with the storage dam, the site will completely lose its natural feature if the project is realised leaving no chance for restoration. As a result of the deal signed on 03.11.2011 between YONTAS, KOLN firms and State Hydraulic Works, a 15m high and 26km long barrier will be constructed and 580 million m3 water collected will be released to 40.000ha land. If this project, planned to be completed on 03.11.2015, becomes realized, the marshes will turn into an artificial reservoir such as a washing basin instead of maintaining its natural characteristic. It is not clear whether the stored water will be used in the natural water cycle of the marshland or transferred to new agricultural fields.

Source: Ejatlas