articles | 07 May 2015

Cheaper water for farming communities

Cheaper water will be available for 26 farming communities once a water treatment plant currently under construction is completed, agriculture minister Nicos Kouyialis told a meeting of the House Refugees Committee recently.

The plant, Kouyialis said, is part of the government’s plans to avert possible harm to the farming sector if the supply of water to the north from Turkey results in a “flooding of the government controlled areas with produce from the north through the Green Line regulations”.

The €3m plant is projected to produce 42 million cubic metres in the next four years, while 25 million cubic metres will be utilised immediately, Kouyialis said. He said production is to be increased to 65 million cubic metres in seven years’ time.

He added that construction of the plant was speeded up after the announcement of the construction of the water pipeline from Turkey, which is expected to be up and running by the end of the year.

Since 2013, when the pipeline was announced, Kouyialis said the government started designing projects aimed at utilising recycled water for farming.

He also said that the project inthe north will cost more than €700 million and will have the capacity to produce 75m cubic meters of water, 35 of which will be utilised in farming and that the same volume of water could have been given to the north from desalination plants in the free areas at a lower cost.

The 80km long pipeline, that will connect Anamur in Turkey to Kyrenia, was deemed necessary to help cover the water and irrigation needs in the occupied areas. A network of pipes will send the drinking water to all regions in the north, through a treatment plant in Myrtou.

Foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides told the same committee that the “expropriation” of Greek Cypriot owned land in the north for the construction of infrastructure used for the pipeline will be tabled at soon to be reopened Cyprus talks.

He also said the project in the north will be operable by the end of the year and that the announced inauguration date – July 20 – will be only symbolic. July 20 is the anniversary of the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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