DESPITE delays due to weather conditions, water from Turkey will reach north Cyprus by summer, the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce Fikri Toros said on Wednesday.
Only a sixth of the 80km long pipeline that connects Anamur in Turkey – from where the water is sourced – to Kyrenia is completed, since works were suspended in the winter as it was deemed dangerous to work at sea when waves and winds reached a high level, Toros told the Cyprus Mail.
The project, which is under supervision of the Water Department of Turkey (DSI), was deemed necessary to help cover the water and irrigation needs of the population in the occupied areas.
Turkish Minister for Forestry and Water, Veysel Eroglu, had said in February that the water was expected to arrive in the north by July 20 this year.
“There are still 67km of pipes that need to be laid and the project is estimated to be completed within the next four months,” Toros said.
The pipes will hover at a depth of 250-280 metres below the sea, and the metal fittings joining the pipes will be anchored with steel ropes to the seabed and will be kept in place with the help of floats. Around 75 million cubic meters of water per year will be pumped to Cyprus through the pipeline.
A receptor station has already been built in the Vavylas area, along with a 3.5km-long pipe to the dam in Panagra. A network of pipes will send the drinking water to all regions in the north, through a treatment plant in Myrtou.
“As far as reservoirs and pumping is concerned, the infrastructure has been constructed, both in northern Turkey and in Kyrenia, while the 480km long distribution network is currently being built in northern Cyprus,” Toros told the Mail.
Some circles in the north expressed concerns whether water transfer from Turkey would solve the water shortage problem or whether environmental consequences and overall costs will overshadow the benefits.
The chairwoman of the Union of Turkish Cypriot Biologists, Dilge Ozerdem, had described the project as an irreversible intervention in nature and a blow to the ecology, and criticised the fact that there was no water policy in the occupied areas.