ESIN

European Small Islands Federation

Can we save 25% of the water we use?

Map

The first stage of the Water Saving study https://europeansmallislands.com/water-saving-project/ is now complete: total water consumption and water supply on the eight islands Tilos and Ithaca (Greece), Vis and Lastovo (Croatia), Sein and Houat (France), Cape Clear and Inis Oírr (Ireland) have been mapped, in detail. Now Mayors and Water Officers take next step, gathering for a challenge meeting on island Vis, September 22-24.

The challenge is: can we save 25% of the water we use? Is it possible to achieve such savings through a balanced blend of actions including information, household technologies, industrial technologies, governance and pricing?

If so, these islands will save 180 million liters of fresh water. If one hundred islands join the challenge, 18 billion liters of water will be saved. If we can extend this knowledge to all of Europe’s 2,400 islands and coastal communities, the saving on one of nature’s most precious assets is almost unimaginable.

The project’s sponsor, EU Parliamentary, former Foreign Minister of Croatia, Tonino Picula, is hopeful: http://toninopicula.com/en/from-media/internet-and-press/mep-piculas-project-water-saving-challenge/a2400.

The field reports from the eight islands can be found here https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ds7w4oamrlzuvzy/AACAPQwPbFw1Dh8PUzxUayH8a?dl=0

 

#SmallislesThinkbig

ESIN-Orkney

‘Small Islands are “the agents of change”  that can be trusted to make the low carbon revolution happen in Europe’ declared Brendan Devlin, Special adviser to DG Energy,  at the17th  AGM and annual Conference of the European Small Islands Federation.  It was held in Orkney islands on 11-13 September, and contributed an afternoon of talks on the theme of the Smart Islands for the prestigious Orkney International Science Festival.

The Orkney islands are well-known for their cutting edge leadership in Renewable technology, and on Tuesday 12 September, 32 islanders from 13 countries in Europe visited the small island of Shapinsay – 300 inhabitants where a local development trust was set up to bring income to the islanders through wind power. Their wind turbine, “Whorley”  brings  £90 000 annually to be spent on community projects, running a free minibus and electric taxi for islanders and visitors, and a 12 seats ‘out of hours’ ferry to allow islanders more flexibility in their travel to and from Orkney mainland. “ The quality of community engagement is really remarkable here ” enthused delegates from Greece and Brittany, “This is an inspiration to all our island communities.”

Mairtin O Mealoid of Comharchumann Chleire, the island development Cooperative of Cape Clear and Vice Chair of Comhdhail Oilean na hEireann the Irish Islands Federation said ” coming to Orkney and Discovering the Orkney food and produce brand as well as the Danish Island Produce brand was an inspiration. As a small island food producer myself, I am pleased that we are looking to introduce a similar designation for the producers in our small European islands. We have established a working group and intend to have an islands brand up and running in the near future. This will identify authentic island products that meet agreed criteria and will help with marketing and of course additional employment in the food and drink sectors on the islands”….

Best of all, was the quality of the exchanges between islanders from all corners of Europe. They found they had much in common in terms of opportunities and challenges. Discussing these in a formal as well as an informal setting felt to be of huge benefit: “Whenever we meet, we always learn something from each other” says Pia Prost, from FÖSS, the Finnish Southern archipelago, “by developing projects in small clusters and comparing results, we can advance by leaps and bounds.” Camille Dressler, Leader of the Scottish Islands Federation, who was re-elected as ESIN chair said: “We will be taking these results to Brussels next year and in the meantime, we will continue to push for the needs of the smaller islands of Europe to be recognised and addressed, especially in the context of the Territorial Cohesion Policy post 2020 and Brexit.

Camille Dressler, chairman of ESIN

Snapshots from Orkney

As ESIN held its annual general meeting on Orkney Monday 11th to Wednesday 13th of September this week, Anetté Larm Johansson from Sweden and Pia Prost from Finland took som snapshots of people and proceedings.

ESIN-Orkney

Islanders from all over Europe met on Orkney

Micaela Denis Daniel Masson

Micaela Jansson (Korpo, Finland), Denis Bredin and Daniel Masson (Molène, France)Mairtin

Mairtin O’Mealoid, Cape Clear Island, sings (?)

Windy

Windy, but after rain comes sunshineLandscape

John Wrede

John Wrede, Mayor of Brändö (Åland Islands), representing Finland and ÅlandCamille & John

Chairman Camille Dressler discussing with John Walsh (Bere island, Ireland)

ESIN annual general meeting in Orkney

Frontiers

Frontiers Magazine, editor Howie Firth, has blessed us with a beautiful article crammed with facts on ESIN and the upcoming AGM, see http://frontiersmagazine.org/europes-small-islands-to-gather-in-orkney/ , with stories from Öland, (Sweden), Tilos (Greece) and Sein (France).

Tilos wins the EUSEW 2017 award

Tilos WomenGreek island Tilos (pop 780) is going from oil-based electricity, with an undersea cable from neighbouring Kos, to a battery-based storage system that will turn the island into a resilient RES-based microgrid using only wind and solar power.

For this, it won the EUSEW 2017 award yesterday evening.

Competitors were ESIN represented by Simskäla, one of the Aland islands, and Bornholm in Denmark. Tilos deserves it well, showing how islands can move away from relying on expensive and polluting oil-based energy imports, avoid power cuts and contribute towards renewable energy growth.

Congratulations to Maria Kamma, mayor of Tilos, and all of her 780 islanders!

Maria-Kamma

Historic Islands Bill in Scotland

Muck

The Scottish government has introduced a “historic bill” to create a sustainable future for Scotland’s islands. It is a success for the Scottish Archipelagoes (Orkney, Western Isles Council and Shetland Islands Council) that have been campaigning for several years for greater powers.

The introduction of the bill marks the first stage in its progress through parliament.

Among others points, the bill will propose the creation of a National Islands Plan; Extended powers to island councils in relation to marine licensing. This involves the potential extension of the provisions of the Orkney and Zetland County Council Acts of 1974, to enable Scottish minsters to establish a scheme requiring that activities up to 12 nautical miles from an island are licensed by the appropriate local authority; and giving island councils powers over activities on and around their coastlines.

This is well in line with ESINs view that an island consists of land + water. The sea should always be included when calculating the area, the rights, the culture, the benefits, the costs and the assets of an island – otherwise it might as well be a town in Germany, an English hill or a French village.

More information can be found on BBC Scotland: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-40247214

Water saving on Ithaca

Ithaca-Sea-Chart

Ithaca is a small island in the Ionian Sea with a problematic water situation. In the main village Vathy (pop 1,920), water is no more distributed on Sundays and on weekdays only 07-13. The second largest village of the island, Stavros (pop 366), will only get water two days a week in July and August.

The island has an off-grid water network with a few off-off-grid enclaves. From May to October four desalination plants are at work but do not meet the island’s need for water, although there is a spring at Kalamos and most islanders have private rain water collectors and water tanks.

The mayor of Ithaca Dionios Stanitsas and the water manager Vassilis “Billy” Simiris have created several innovative solutions to overcome the scarcity of water. Not only do they use reversed osmosis but they also use “reversed economies of scale”, having a backwards billing system to promote saving water: if you use 0-40 m3 per 4 months, you pay 1€/m3; if you use 41-80 m3 per 4 months you pay 1,30€/m3; if you use 81-120 m3 per 4 months, the price is 1,50€/m3, if you use 121-160 m3 per 4 months, the price is 2€/m3, and finally, if you use more than 501+ m3 per 4 months you pay 3€/m3. The same goes for hotels but with slightly different numbers and prices. Simply put: if you use less water, you pay less per m3.

There is also a municipal policy for hotels that “go green”: if they meet a set of water-saving criteria as defined by a municipality board in 2009, they pay a flat rate of 1€/m3 for water. We visited Nostos Hotel, which uses slightly salt water from a well to flush the toilets in the hotel rooms, rainwater for the pool, and municipal water for the rest. The hotel guest knew nothing of this and were happy like fish in the sea.

The consumption of municipal water was 168,712 m3 in 2016, but the water production was 239,548 m3. The rest was lost in leaks, subsequently is a big issue. Biggest leaks (44%) were in Perachori village where they have been quite successful in finding leaks with an “Aquaphon” – a sound detector.

Odysseus-utsiktKalamos-vattenkranVy-från-Perachori