Cyprus Mail
Property

We must address water scarcity in real estate

pool
Water scarcity is increasing in this part of the world and needs better management

Strange as it may seem, water availability affects real estate demand and prices, especially regarding foreign buyers who have a choice of countries. This market from abroad until recently brought in around €2 billion a year and created thousands of jobs.

The relatively recent protest of foreign residents in the village of Tala in Paphos, as well as the warnings given by various tour operators on the issue of water, are an indication of the problem.

In recent years we have had some rain and that, along with existing desalination plants has helped with water supply.

As far as some political parties and even parliament are concerned, no one is to blame for the looming unacceptable situation, except god for not making it rain.

What is needed is a solution to the problem. Water scarcity is rising in this part of the world and needs better management. Having experience in construction, we believe the following measures will help:

  • Before securing a building permit, each new building should submit a water-saving plan, such as water recycling, new technology, etc. As there is a provision for energy saving, there must be a requirement for water-saving.
  • Prohibit toilets that have only one water stop and allow only dual flush toilets, saving thousands of tons of water, especially for offices.
  • All swimming pools should be covered when not in use, to reduces loss of water through evaporation. Considering the thousands of pools that exist and those that are being built, this adds up.
  • The price of water should double after one ton per day per household or maximum consumption of 30 tons per month for 4 people. Drilling of a water borehole should be required for plots over 1000 sq.m.
  • All the water used during construction, such as for spraying slabs and making concrete should not be drinking water, but using water from boreholes or from tankers. Jus like the procedure for the temporary supply of electricity to buildings, the contractor may need to either drill a borehole in the plot or transport water by tanker for building needs.
  • Only water efficient washing machines and dishwaters should be allowed.
  • Golf courses should use desalinated water from the state at the expense of entrepreneurs. Sewage water can be used as well.
  • Some kind of policing is needed when it comes to use of water. Private inspectors for the local authorities could monitor implementation of policies. Practises such as washing of sidewalks, cars, terraces and watering of gardens with drinking water need to stop. Payment of these officers could come from fines collected.

The lack of water is one of the most serious issues Cyprus is facing and we are sure that everyone agrees in theory, but can this be put into practice?

 

Antonis Loizou & Associates EPE – Real Estate Valuers, Estate Agents & Property Consultants, www.aloizou.com.cy, [email protected]

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