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Searching for fresh water in the sea

Cyprus Institute (CyI) scientists are conducting pioneering research aiming at pinpointing sub-marine discharge points of fresh water in Cyprus.

According to CyI the research aims to develop new methods of pinpointing such discharge in view of the great problem of lack of drinking water faced by the island and the fact that a great percentage of fresh water is to be found in underground aquifers on a worldwide scale.

Fresh water is often discharged in the sea either through leakage in porous ground layers or through naturally forming ‘pipelines’.

Sub-marine fresh water may be used for domestic and farming needs, it said.

CyI scientists Manfred Lange, Adriana Bruggeman, Stelios Ioannou and Christos Keleshis collaborated in the research conducted so far using specialised equipment.

In cooperation with local authorities they have identified possible points of fresh water sub-marine discharge.

As part of CyI, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) cooperation senior Mechanical Engineering student Katy Olesnavage also visited Cyprus and worked on the project.

Her study “The Design and Testing of a Procedure to Locate Fresh Sub-marine Groundwater Discharge in Cyprus”, was awarded the 2012 Dean A. Horn Award for Undergraduate Study in Marine Research.

The next phase of the research project will include the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) part of the Autonomous Flying Platforms for Atmospheric and Earth Surface Observations project.

According to CyI, it is one of only a small number of institutes in Europe which construct and use this type of technology.

UASs are financially viable, less harmful to the environment while at the same time having the capacity to map large areas in a small timeframe.

Source: Cyprus Mail

29 March 2012