Sustainable Water Resources Management

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 283–295 | Cite as

Vulnerability assessment of water resources and adaptive management approach for Lesvos Island, Greece

  • Prithvi SimhaEmail author
  • Zahra Zafira Mutiara
  • Petros Gaganis
Original Paper


In the Aegean Islands, the continued availability of freshwater resources is of fundamental concern. This study analyzes the freshwater system for the Island of Lesvos by simultaneously conceptualizing various issues surrounding it using vulnerability assessment as a quantitative tool. The endpoint approach to vulnerability assessment was applied by developing a numerical expression based on a set of 25 quantitative and qualitative indicators; the indicators were identified as proxies to reflect the various conspicuous and inconspicuous issues surrounding water resources of the Island. In addition, concurrent visualization of the indicators was carried out by plotting radar charts. The assessment indicated that the Lesvian hydrogeological system has significant vulnerabilities emanating from both natural and anthropogenic pressures in addition to a poor adaptive capacity to counter perturbations; this was corroborated by the composite water vulnerability index which was calculated to be 0.69. Based on the analysis of the assessment results, the priority management targets and existing management optimization tools, the authors propose a quantitative framework that could aid the development of an effective methodology for addressing problems in water resource management; this approach couples adaptive water management with vulnerability assessment. The proposed methodology may represent a tool for identification of better solutions to water management–decision problems and/or provide important insights during decision making in similar environments.


Water framework directive Vulnerability index Indicators Adaptive management Water resources Island systems 



The authors acknowledge the European Commission’s Erasmus Mundus Program—MESPOM ( for the present study carried out through University of the Aegean in Mytilene, Greece. P. Simha, and Z. Mutiara would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to Margarita Roxas, Sin Yi Ch’ng, Pin Udomcharoenchaikit, and Isaac Estrada for the lengthy discussions and insights during the assessment. We also acknowledge Viktoria Athousaki and Nikoleta Lekaki for data translation, on-site support, and GIS mapping of the study area.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

40899_2017_95_MOESM1_ESM.docx (766 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 766 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Energy and TechnologySwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Department of Environmental StudiesUniversity of the AegeanMytileneGreece
  3. 3.School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences (SEAES)The University of ManchesterManchesterUK

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