Pipeline pumps first water to northern Cyprus from Turkey

Pipeline pumps first water to northern Cyprus from Turkey

Pipeline pumps first water to northern Cyprus from Turkey

CİHAN photo

Fresh water has reached northern Cyprus through a pipeline project from Turkey as part of a “peace project” to provide the arid island with a source of water, Turkish Forestry and Water Affairs Minister Veysel Eroğlu has said.

“An 80-kilometer-long undersea pipeline of a depth of 250 meters in the Mediterranean Sea has transferred the first fresh water, which was taken from the Anamur-Alaköprü Dam, through the Anamurium Plant in southern Turkey to the Sea Transmission Line in northern Cyprus,” he said, according to Anadolu Agency. 

The project, called “Barış Suyu” (Peace Water), was completed after the last pieces of the pipe were assembled in August. The project will transport a total of 75 million cubic meters of water annually to the island, which suffers greatly from water shortages. 

Defining the project as “extraordinary,” Erdoğlu said the project cost 1.2 billion Turkish Liras when including the construction costs of the drinking water treatment facilities and distribution pipes. 

Long-term water needs will be met through sea pipelines, as the water taken from Mersin’s Alaköprü Dam on the Anamur River will be delivered to the Geçitköy Dam near the shores of Kyrenia with the help of an 80-kilometer sea pipeline and a hanging pipeline which is 250 meters below the surface, he said.

The project was marred by controversy before its opening, however, amid disagreement over which authority would administer the pipeline. 

The northern Cypriot government insisted on the need for the distribution of the project’s management to its municipalities, contrary to protocols that were signed with Turkey. Ankara, however, has said the municipalities are not qualified to operate the project due to financial constraints, calling for the opening of a tender to handle maintenance, repair and water purification tasks, daily Hürriyet reported last week.