Biologists Niyazi Turkseven and Hasan Sarpten warned on Sunday against complacency among Turkish Cypriots regarding the island’s water supply after the Kioneli reservoir dried up.

Turkseven and Sarpten reported in a joint statement on social media that a number of biologists had visited the reservoir on Sunday to go birdwatching.

“The reservoir, which has continued to hold water under all conditions for years and nourish the natural life around it, has almost completely dried up,” they said.

They pointed out that climate change was a likely cause of the reservoir drying up, saying “this is not a surprise when we add the delayed rains to the ongoing evaporation that happens when it is still summer in November.”

“We cannot avoid experiencing similar problems without accepting climate change as a phenomenon,” they added.

Additionally, they called on the north’s authorities to “create a rational water policy” as climate change is likely to cause droughts in Cyprus.

They criticised what they see as complacency on the matter of the north’s water supply.

“We look at the water in Panagra coming from Turkey and ignore the local water supply problems. However, we do not think that even the water of the ‘motherland’ can be a solution to our problems.”

They added that if Turkey also experiences droughts while the north does nothing to preserve its domestic supply, the north will then have no option but to suffer the brunt of any further water shortages.

“Soon, when the water resources on the opposite shore of the Levant decrease, we will surely begin to understand that importing water is not a solution to our problems. By then, though, it will be too late,” they said.