It is clear today that water is one of the fundamental driving forces for sustainable development. At a time marked by increasing water demand and the negative effects of climate change (among others), the problem of water scarcity in the Mediterranean region becomes more critical. It is necessary to enhance water efficiency and explore alternative approaches to ensure water availability. Addressing traditional water harvesting and management techniques, which have been overlooked in favor of modern, often much less sustainable technologies, can be a useful and critical move in this direction.

In this framework, the HYDRIA project uses water as a ‘vehicle’ to unfold the diverse, yet common, tangible and intangible Mediterranean cultural heritage, through reviving some representative ancient water management visions, concepts and techniques of the distant and more recent past. The project aims to shed light to cases demonstrating the wisdom of our ancestors, which evolved hand-in-hand with the environment, or, on the other hand, to cases showing the catastrophic implications when civilisations did not respect and adapt to water availability and geo-climatic peculiarities. Moreover, the project aims to demonstrate that this past wisdom in the area of water collection, storage and transfer can be properly combined with modern technological innovations to help address today’s needs in harmony with the environment. Adapting peoples’ consuming behaviour and management patterns to more sustainable ones is an indirect long-term goal of the project.

The project endorses several case studies from Mediterranean countries. These are presented via a series of texts, photographic material and animations, where appropriate, to explain the operation of complex water works. For each case case we try to describe also the societal development around the water resources; provide information for the current status of the remnants.

The target groups

HYDRIA targets primarily citizens of the Mediterranean countries, particularly young people and the formal and non-formal educational community. Through the description of the cases the project highlights the role of young citizens today, as water consumers and makes them reflect and reconsider their consumption habits towards more sustainable patterns.


Phase I: From  01/11/2008 to 31/12/2009 
Phase II: From 01/11/2010 to 31/12/2011
Phase III: From 01/10/2012 to 30/09/2013

The partners

In each case the contributing partner is presened in the section entitled "CREDITS/RESOURCES". In phase I of HYDRIA we started with a consortium of seven partners, that grew substantially in the next phases II and III. So far, more than 20 different partners have contributed content (a case study) in the webpage and their profiles range from cultural NGOs, environmental NGOs (mostly members of MIO-ECSDE), Municipalities, Ministtry departments etc. 


The Arabic translation of the website was carried out by Mr Essam Nada, (AOYE, Egypt) for phase I and II and Ms +++ from Jordan for phase III.
The Greek translation of the website was carried out by Ms Spyridoula Pyrpili. 


Phase I and II were funded by the UNESCO Participation Programme, MIO-ECSDE and GWP-Med.
Phase III was funded by the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation. 

Links to other projects

The Hydria project is in line with the overall policy of MIO-ECSDE and MEdIES. It is closely linked to other initiatives such as:

(i)  The “water in the Mediterranean educational material prepared in 8 Mediterranean languages and disseminated in various countries (starting from 2002 onwards). Read more at 

(ii) The “gift of rain project of MIO-ECSDE and GWP-Med (2008-today) that entails construction or repair of rainwater harvesting cistern infrastructures at public buildings in several Greek islands, as well as an educational material for Greek Students. Read more at

Coordination - Secretariat

For more information on HYDRIA please contact the MIO-ECSDE Secretariat ( and/or MEdIES Secretariat ( 
The responsible programme officer is Ms Iro Alampei (