Study Area

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The Arta plain is located in the Epirus region, in the westernmost part of Greece. It is an area of 271 km2, with varying altitudes and a population that reaches 50,000 inhabitants. A large amount of the population is occupied in the agricultural sector, either as primary or secondary activity. The two rivers that are present in the area, Louros and Arachthos, play a significantrole, providing water to an extensive irrigation network, while in Arachthos there is also a dam that produces 300 MW (Leris, 2006). In the south of the study area, in the Amvrakikos gulf an ecosystem is formed, hosting a number of fisheries. The basic characteristic of the area is the very high precipitation height. Epirus has very high precipitation rates in general, with most of the rain falling during the winter time, although thereare significant rain events throughout the whole year. This has caused severe problems during winter, when there are days with very high precipitation (often > 100 mm/d), due to the fact that the Public Power Supply Company (DEI) that manages the dam in Arachthos, for safety reasons, increases the amount of water that flows downstream and this causes flooding events,especially closer to the river delta.