Pipeline pumps first water to occupied Cyprus from Turkey
Fresh water has reached occupied Cyprus through a pipeline project from Turkey as part of a “peace project” to provide the arid island with a source of water, Turkish Forestry and Water Affairs Minister Veysel Eroglu has said.
“An 80-kilometre-long undersea pipeline of a depth of 250 metres in the Mediterranean Sea has transferred the first fresh water, which was taken from the Anamur-Alaköprü Dam, through the Anamurium Plant in southern Turkey to the Sea Transmission Line in northern Cyprus,” he said, according to Anadolu Agency.
The project, called 'Barıs Suyu' (Peace Water), was completed after the last pieces of the pipe were assembled in August. The project will transport a total of 75 million cubic metres of water annually to the island, which suffers greatly from water shortages.
Defining the project as “extraordinary”, Erdoglu said the project cost 1.2 billion Turkish lira when including the construction costs of the drinking water treatment facilities and distribution pipes.
Long-term water needs will be met through sea pipelines, as the water taken from Mersin’s Alakopru Dam on the Anamur River will be delivered to the Geçitkoy Dam near the shores of Kyrenia with the help of an 80-kilometre sea pipeline and a hanging pipeline which is 250 metres below the surface, he said.
The project was marred by controversy before its opening, however, amid disagreement over which authority would administer the pipeline.
Turkish ocuppied areas insisted on the need for the distribution of the project’s management to its municipalities, contrary to protocols that were signed with Turkey. Ankara, however, has said the municipalities are not qualified to operate the project due to financial constraints, calling for the opening of a tender to handle maintenance, repair and water purification tasks.