It is generally accepted that the biggest problem we face in Cyprus after the Turkish invasion is the water shortage.
This summer the problem was so acute that we had to import water from Greece via tankers at a cost of over €40m.
The environmental movement of the island has for many years now, been pressing the various governments for proper water management, the lack of which has led us to the situation we are in.
The main reason perhaps being the fact that there many different authorities responsible for the various aspects of water, a segmentation that spans government and semi-government authorities.
On top of this, we have also some restrictions imposed by our constitution that very clearly defines the ministries that we can have and as a result we cannot reorganize government in a manner more suitable to face the problems of today.

As a result we have come to a point at which basic steps that should have been taken a long time ago are yet to be acted upon, for instance:
  • We need to take immediate and decisive action for the protection of groundwater from agricultural activity, landfills, animal farms and sewage.
  • There are thousands of swimming pools using potable water which completely unregulated.
  • We have imported and use varieties in our gardens and agricultural crops that require a lot of water.
  • We still need to built more than 30 sewage treatment plants by 2012 and some of those that are currently in operation, only recently managed to handle properly the treated water produced.
  • We have large quantities of water lost in leaky pipes far more than what is considered to be the norm.
  • We lack a common island wide pricing scheme especially drinking water.
  • The quality of metering systems, the lack of regulations for toilet flushing systems, borehole control and much missed water saving campaigns.
All the above complete an array of minimum measures that need to be implemented in order to achieve some control at least, on water demand on the island of Cyprus which the IPCC Climate change reports predict to be hard hit by rising temperatures and decreasing rainfall.

Charalampos Theopemptou, Commissioner for the Environment