By Bejay Browne
RESIDENTS of Peyia in Paphos are furious over ongoing intermittent water cuts which they say are adversely affecting everyday life.
“I have lived in Peyia for five years and every summer it’s the same story. We have to go days without water and when I complain to the local authorities all I’m met with are excuses and a shrug of the shoulders,” said resident Sheila Henderson. ”I pay for a water supply and I expect to be given it.”
Henderson said she was without water for three days earlier this week.
Mayor of Peyia Neofytos Akourshiotis explained there had been a problem with a pipe. “We are a big municipality and there are many tourists here now. These things happen from time to time and it’s not unusual,” he said.
Peyia councillor Linda Leblanc said that a number of residents had contacted her for information, angered over ongoing cuts to their supplies.
“I have been trying to help a number of residents; some are experiencing chronic problems which are ongoing for more than a decade,” she said.
It appears that the worst hit areas are in central Peyia, where Leblanc says around half of the population resides.
“The water pressure doesn’t work properly in a number of places as the pipes are too small,” she said. “When the level of water in Peyia’s tanks goes down the pumps aren’t powerful enough to refill them. I believe we need bigger pumps.”
Last year Peyia connected to Kannaviou dam to try to improve water supply to the area. Leblanc said that municipal technical services had informed her that some of the reasons behind the recent problems were due to filters at the dam being cleaned
Akourshiotis added that he understood that interruption to water supply two weeks ago was due to a problem at Kannaviou dam.
“The power was turned off so that we were unable to take water as usual and it meant that our machinery couldn’t work and we were unable to supply water. We weren’t informed about this before,” he said.
However, the director of the water development department (WDD) Kyriacos Kyrou said he was unaware of any problems at the dam.
“We are filtering and backwashing all of the time otherwise the filters would become dirty and clogged; this occurs every few hours. The storage tanks have enough to cover the supply,” he said.
In the large towns, water management is carried out professionally by the respective water boards. “But in other areas, such as Peyia, this is the remit of the village authorities or the local municipalities,” he said.
Kyrou said it was up to them to ensure that all areas get sufficient water, as the correct amount was supplied.
George Ioannou from the Paphos water board said that any problems were down to the current network and not due to the dam.
“We deliver as much as the local authority needs and they then have to make the right decisions,” he said. “In central Peyia the land is up and down. I believe they must redesign the network as the village expanded vigorously and planning and organising needs to be undertaken. It’s a matter of time,” he said.
Kyrou said that compared with other areas, in general water supply in Paphos was managed reasonably well. “There shouldn’t be any problems with supply as Kannaviou dam is about 65 per cent full.”