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Water 2017, 9(1), 31; doi:10.3390/w9010031

Evolution of Cretan Aqueducts and Their Potential for Hydroelectric Exploitation

Organization for the Development of Crete S.A., 73100 Chania, Greece
Ministry of Culture and Sports, Ephorate of Antiquities of Chania, 73134 Chania, Greece
Institute of Crete, National Foundation for Agricultural Research (N.AG.RE.F.), 71307 Iraklion, Greece
Hellenic Union of Municipal Enterprises for Water Supply and Sewerage, 41222 Larissa, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ashok K. Chapagain
Received: 6 October 2016 / Revised: 2 December 2016 / Accepted: 28 December 2016 / Published: 7 January 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [8897 KB, uploaded 7 January 2017]   |  


In this article, several archaeological, historical and other aspects of aqueducts in Crete, Greece, since the prehistoric times until today, are reviewed and presented. In Crete, since the Minoan era, various water management techniques that are found in modern water technologies were developed and applied. One of the most significant features of the Minoan civilization was the architecture of water supply systems in the palaces and other settlements. These technologies were continued and improved mainly during the Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods and at the same time spread to other towns in the mainland and islands. The aqueduct technologies developed during the Classical and Hellenistic periods were further developed by Romans, mainly by enlarging their application scale (e.g., water bridges). Several paradigms of Cretan aqueducts are considered by which the significance of those technologies for water supply in areas with limited water resources is justified. A brief presentation and discussion of climatic conditions, the karst hydrogeology and the water resources management in Crete is also included. The article also describes the present water management profile of the island, in terms of the water plants, water supply–irrigation networks, and water renewable energy exploitation of dams and water pipelines. View Full-Text
Keywords: aqueducts; Minoan era; Classical–Hellenistic periods; Roman–Ottoman period; modern times; hydroelectric exploitation aqueducts; Minoan era; Classical–Hellenistic periods; Roman–Ottoman period; modern times; hydroelectric exploitation

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Nikolaou, T.G.; Christodoulakos, I.; Piperidis, P.G.; Angelakis, A.N. Evolution of Cretan Aqueducts and Their Potential for Hydroelectric Exploitation. Water 2017, 9, 31.

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