WATER cuts imposed earlier this year have managed to reduce total consumption by almost a quarter. With the supplies from Greece finally flowing smoothly, this means Cyprus should be able to scrape through this critical period of drought until a new desalination plant comes online next spring, allowing the government to put an end to the inconvenience of water rationing. If all goes according to plan (and that does remain a big ‘if’), Cyprus should no longer be dependent on rainfall by next summer.
End of story? The mobile desalination plant due to be completed in a few months’ time will be followed by more, fixed, units, and the island’s population will no longer be hostage to increasingly hostile weather patterns. We can go back to watering our lawns, hosing down the streets (some of us have never stopped, it seems), planting water intensive crops and promoting golf courses to kick start our faltering tourism industry. Indeed, the last time our water crisis was ‘solved’ in 2001 through a combination of desalination and heavy winter rains, water consumption soared by more than a third.
We cannot allow a repeat of such a scenario.