Hydria is a pilot bilingual website (functioning in English and Arabic) that promotes water related heritage sites in the Mediterranean dated from the distant up to the recent past. The sites promoted (case studies) demonstrate sophisticated wise management systems and technologies that were developed to capture, store and distribute water. Over the centuries these technologies were passed on to neighbouring or succeeding civilisations throughout the region forming a unique interlinked puzzle.
The case studies are presented through texts, maps, photos, and some high quality animations to explain their operation. Also, the social structure around these water works is presented, as in many cases the water availability (abundance or shortage) has determined the way human societies evolved.
Furthermore, the website makes links to today’s water stresses and trends in the Mediterranean region (augmented by climate change) and emphasises on the role of youth, as consumers aiming to help them adjust their behaviours to more sustainable patterns. Finally, information for potential visitors to the sites is included, so as to support these sites as cultural tourism destinations, especially the less valorised ones.
The pilot phase of HYDRIA (2008-2011) resulted in a bilingual website that includes 19 sites from 7 countries. The current project allows for the enrichment both in terms of sites (18 sites from 12 countries) as well as target audiences (young professionals, educators, researchers, etc.)
The overall aim is to unfold a part of the diverse, yet common tangible and intangible Mediterranean Cultural Heritage using water as a vehicle. HYDRIA aims to shed light to the relation of Mediterranean civilisations to the natural environment, particularly water; to promote the past as inspiration for developing innovative modern solutions and also to cultivate a "new water ethic" to consumers.
The more specific objectives of HYDRIA project are:
- TO cultivate cultural literacy and promote intercultural dialogue using water as context and ICTs as a tool.
- TO safeguard water remnants giving emphasis on sites that are not so popular.
- TO demonstrate the wisdom of water management techniques, especially those that could inspire for innovative technologies today.
- TO promote the heritage sites as cultural tourism destinations.
- TO build the capacities of young professionals on protecting and promoting the cultural heritage sites in a sustainable way.
- TO support educators to use water as a tool of intercultural education.
- TO sensitise the public and internet users on water-related Mediterranean heritage.
- TO cultivate a low-consumption ethic in water users.