An SMS from TAY Larnaca, written in Greek and ALL CAPS seeks to inform that with effect from 30 June 2018 water rationing will be applied in our district. At least that is the interpretation that I was offered by an English-speaking Cypriot when I asked him to translate the message.
Are we headed back to the day on / day off situation that was the case around ten or so years ago when water reserves had fallen perilously low.
Farmers, who are heavily reliant on water for irrigation, have been told that their ‘agricultural’ water will be cut to just 25% of their usual allocation. Without water, salad crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, spring onions, sweet peppers, aubergines, courgettes and perhaps potatoes, will not thrive. They will wither and die in the summer heat.
In Maroni the council have a system of sorts. We find our water on one day and off during the next day. Sales of bottled water soar. Under these circumstances, water from the taps should be boiled before use for drinking or for cooking. Previously we learned how to manage by managing down our consumption. Take short showers, flush the loo when necessary and so on.
Is a seaborne solution on the cards?
One former scheme saw water being brought here from Greece. Here’s hoping Cyprus does not have to import water using sea-going tankers sailing from Greece!
What of the desalination plants that were installed at great expense some years ago? Costly to operate we hear. Then there was the guy who attempted to float a scheme to tow iceberg from the Arctic to the Middle East. It seems that cold water was poured on that project.
Further, the Cyprus Mail reports that the Republic of Cyprus is to ask the EU for assistance for farmers. Some commentators say that there is ample water available on the other side of the ‘Green Line’. Accepting help from TRNC is something that would not come easily!
Driving in to Larnaca, we witness more that one ‘vanity project’ . What is a vanity project? This is my pet name for those patches of grass. We have all seen them, watered and manicured at great expense. Usually paid for by the public. Turning off the water to the grassy fripperies would not solve the problem. On the other hand, continuing with this non-productive irrigation, leaves politicians open to ridicule.
As I write, the weather forecast suggests that we have a 50% chance of rain, on a day when the temperature is hovering around 30degC. Through the window I can see clouds piled above the high ground. For the moment opening the tap produces water.