Pissouri residents say they are fed up with living with water shortages especially during the summer months which can leave homes and businesses without water for days at a time.
Last July, problems with the main water supply resulted in water shortages in the popular tourist area of almost a week. It took the water department two days to fix the pipe but it then burst in another area.
The council, in cooperation with the Limassol district office, had to buy water from two privately owned boreholes and transfer it to Pissouri via water trucks.
More than a year down the line, it seems as though little has changed, with residents still frustrated by sporadic water cuts, the latest of which occurred a few weeks ago and lasted three days, according to a resident, who wished to remain unnamed.
“This happens every summer and often when Pissouri is busy with locals and visitors. We are told it’s due to overconsumption. Then we’re told it’s due to broken pipes, it’s hard to know what to believe,” she said. “Some guests have to travel home unshowered and with a suitcase of dirty clothes.”
In the wake of the recent fires in the Solea area another concern is the potential danger of a fire in Pissouri and a simultaneous water cut.
Another home owner in the area said that the council urgently needed to act, adding that it seemed ‘unusual’ that the centre of the village often has water when other areas don’t.
“Some of us feel like we’re being fobbed off with excuses,” he said. “If the council were better organised, they could operate a series of cuts when water usage is the greatest, so that each area would know that at a particular time or day there wouldn’t be water and could plan ahead for this eventuality.”
Head of the Pissouri village council, Lazaros Lazarou, disagreed, saying that there is no reason to implement such a programme, as there may be no water cuts experienced at all.
He said that a better idea is to increase available water supply to Pissouri, something which the council is trying to achieve by continually putting pressure on the authorities to step up and help ease the situation.
“We understand their (residents’) concerns and there are a number of different problems which are responsible for cuts in water supplies,” he said.
He noted that although Pissouri comes under the administration of Limassol municipality and appeals have been made to the Limassol water department and the Limassol district officer to take steps to rectify the problems, a decision was taken a number of years ago to connect Pissouri to a water supply sourced from Paphos.
“Apparently it was the closest,” he said.
Most recently, Lazarou said that a problem with the main pipe supplying water from Paphos, meant a cut in continuous supply for Pissouri.
“There are seven water storage tanks in Pissouri and each supply a different area. So this means that they do not all empty at the same time and some areas may lose water first, because their storage is low. We try to split water evenly between the different areas,” he said.
Perhaps one reason for the water problems is the rapid development of the area. Twenty years ago, Pissouri consisted of only around 600-700 houses. There are now 2,300. The 1,800 people in Pissouri during winter swells to more than 6,000 during summer.
“We are also limited to the amount of water we can have a day, it’s supplied at around 120 tonnes per hour. During special holidays or hot weather, people use more water and reserves run low.
“We are pressing the authorities to improve their pipe line and to try and find other resources to supply water to Pissouri,” he said.
Lazarou is hoping that water authorities in Limassol will come good on an assurance that a new water reserve will be constructed at the entrance to the village, which would help to alleviate some of the areas problems.
“This has been a plan for a long time and we are complaining to them and requesting they start as soon as possible,” he said.