The breakage of the undersea water pipeline conveying fresh water from Mersin to North Cyprus is leading to water shortages.
Local municipalities have begun to use their own water resources and the local mayors are saying there is an urgent need for a solution to the problem, warning of risks of water shortages.
The undersea pipeline sustained damage four months ago reportedly by trawling nets, a theory now dismissed and described as a technical issue.The Turkish water authorities said that the pipe would be repaired in August. Meanwhile a sudden rise in temperatures has increased demand for water.
In a statement to Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Yeni Duzen’, the Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dursun Oguz, said that the tenders for the repair of the pipeline had been completed and that the tender had been won by FIRATPEN, which was given space in the port of Tasucu to build the pipes. He said tenders would be announced for the pipeline to be installed by the end of this month and that production of the pipes would begin in June. According to Oguz, work to repair the pipeline is expected to begin in July and be completed in August.
The minister said there was no water problem at the moment and that domestic water resources were being used. He said they expected the water flow from Turkey to the Gecitkoy reservoir to resume in August and called on citizens to save water.
The director of the Water Department, Tarkan Çeki, told the newspaper that due to the pandemic, there has been an increase in water consumption with increased activities in homes and gardens. He said that many areas are facing water problems and that this was not only caused by the damage to the pipeline from Turkey, but there are also problems with the water mains. Çeki noted that he is talking to the local mayors and those involved in animal husbandry and that staff from the department are working on the spot to solve the problems before they get worse. Finally, he called on citizens to be economical with their water consumption.
Only the Mayor of Kyrenia, Nidai Gungordu, said there was no water problem in the city and that there had been a fault, but it was repaired quickly. He said they were in contact with the Turkish Water Authority (DSI) and that it was an advantage that hotels were currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.