Urgent Call for Water Conservation Amid Supply Halt from Turkey

Gonyeli Reservoir - drying out
[Gönyeli Reservoir – 2023]
The water crisis has reemerged due to a malfunction at the Geçitköy pump station, which is part of the project to transport water from Turkey to North Cyprus. As of yesterday morning, it was announced that water would not be supplied to North Cyprus during the ongoing repair works. The duration of these repairs is unknown, and citizens and municipalities have been urged to use water sparingly.

Environmental organisations speaking to Yeniduzen emphasised that the state needs to develop its own water policy. They pointed out that water from Turkey is being used as if it were inexhaustible, neglecting local resources. Last winter, rainfall in Cyprus was below seasonal norms, and the rain that did fall was insufficient to fill the reservoirs.

Many reservoirs in the north have a fill rate below 50%. According to measurements, the total fill rate of 17 reservoirs was 31.38% in March 2023, 13.19% in November 2023, and 14.76% in January 2024. 

Hatice Benan, President of the Biologists Association, highlighted the lack of protection projects for local resources, noting that Gönyeli and Kanlıköy reservoirs had completely dried up and were neglected.

Former President of the Biologists Association, Hasan Sarpten, stated that water from Turkey would not solve the problem and that no measures had been taken regarding conservation since the water started arriving. Sarpten noted that although the water supply project aimed for the water to last until 2030, it has already been depleted and entirely consumed for domestic use.

“One day the water from Turkey will run out.”

Hatice Benan, President of the Biologists Association, stated that the association had viewed the Water Supply Project from Turkey negatively since the beginning, emphasising that this stance is not political. She noted that natural resources could be protected, saying, “Our problem was not solved when water came from Turkey. We could have protected our own natural resources and been self-sufficient. The water from Turkey will not save us; no state policy regarding water was established, and the Gönyeli and Kanlıköy reservoirs completely dried up. Because protection projects were not implemented and our own resources were neglected, our original resources are disappearing. We are experiencing a climate crisis, and no measures have been taken. The rainfall is insufficient; we need to hold on tightly to our natural resources. One day, the water from Turkey will run out“, she said.


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