By Constantinos Psillides
The Nicosia Water Board (NWB) decided to allow Nicosia homes 12 hours of running water every two days for the rest of the week at least, to deal with the water pipe network damage caused by a valve malfunction during routine maintenance at the Tersefanou water pipe in Larnaca.
The water cuts introduced will be in place for at least a week, as NWB director Nicos Zambakides estimates that it will take one or two weeks for the capital’s water supply to be fully restored.
The water cuts introduced are the same as those back in 2008 and 2010, when the island faced a drought.
“Every drop of water is valuable at this point. There’s only 1.5 metre of water in our tanks and soon will be gone,” Zambakides told Sugma TV on Monday, explaining that areas at a higher altitude – Makedonitissa, Hilton, Aglandjia – will be most affected.
The problem arose after a valve at Tersefanou broke down during routine maintenance by Water Development Department technicians on Friday.
While WDD deputy head Andreas Manoli had promised that the damage would be repaired by Saturday morning, Zambakides appeared to be far more pessimistic, originally promising that the water supply would be restored by Sunday and was forced to revise his projection.
The WDD issued a statement on Monday, saying that the valve had been repaired and flow to the capital restored.
But it would take some time before it reaches households.
Zambakides had said on Saturday that it would be unwise to turn the water on at once, explaining that it should be done gradually to avoid any more damage to the network.
Zambakides, who has repeatedly apologised, told Sigma TV that the Agriculture ministry will hold an extraordinary meeting on the matter, adding that he is willing to resign if he is found to be at fault.
Asked on whether other districts should suffer water cuts so as Nicosia residents don’t have to shoulder the burden alone, Manoli said “there is no need for that,” adding that “with proper management and some water cuts the problem can easily be resolved.”
Zambakides has previously criticised the WDD, saying it is unacceptable that Nicosia’s water supply depends on a single pipe line.
He even suggested reaching out to private contractors to have additional water pipes installed.