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Title: CYPRUS IN WATER CRISIS; THE ANATOMY

Author: N. X. TSIOURTIS

Year: 2009

Publisher: European Water Resources Association (EWRA)

Description:

A water crisis like any crisis is not the result of a single event but as a consequence of a series of events initiated and executed by nature, the water managers and water professionals, the government itself and its ministers, the Parliament and the political parties, the NGO's, Government Authorities and Departments, the local and regional authorities (governmental or municipal), the consumers in general and the society and finally by act of war and international criminal acts of war. Cyprus prepared its water master plans and started its implementation in the early 70's. The water master plan provided for the satisfaction of the projected water demand up to the year 2005 from natural resources (including wastewater recycling) and from there on unconventional water resources should be sought. The master plan implementation was substantially completed by the 1990's, when it was discovered that the available water resources were by some 40% below the 1970's estimates, the water demand was much more than any updated estimates made between the 1970 and 1990 and the wastewater recycling projects were no implemented. It was in the 1990's when the Government decided to change the water development and management policy introducing desalination to augment the water available and to accelerate the implementation of the domestic wastewater recycling, introducing at the same time more strict water demand management measures. This paper will discuss why the water resources were reduced, why the water demand rose so rapidly and although at Governmental level decisions were taken
to promote a revised water policy in which desalination and recycle wastewater were to play a vital role in avoiding a water crisis, not enough was done to avoid the water crisis that took place I the years 2007-2009.