PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE CONCEPTS FOR CONSERVATION OF THE RE-CONSTRUCTED LAKE KARLA (THESSALY-GREECE)
Lake Karla (the ancient Lake Voiviis) occupied the lower depression plain of Thessaly region and was one of the most important wetlands in Greece until the 60's. The lake was completely drained in 1962, through a tunnel to Pagasitikos Gulf and has experienced a number of anthropogenic impacts including wetland loss, significant draw-down of the aquifer's water table leading to soil salinization, loss of ecological and aesthetic value. Restoration efforts started in the 80's, addressing to the re-establishment of a new functional reservoir and wetland. At the present time, the reservoir of the lake is almost refilled while the restoration project of the wetland is still ongoing. This study highlights the limnological history of Lake Karla along with its present ecological profile. Since the conservation of Mediterranean freshwater ecosystems requires new water management approaches considering both societal and ecosystemic needs in an integrated fashion, a critical review concerning the Karla's restoration project is discussed. Through Karla's example, as a Mediterranean climate basin, an integrated environmental approach is presented here which could also meet agricultural water demands.