Pipeline to carry Turkish fresh water to Cyprus now completed

Pipeline to carry Turkish fresh water to Cyprus now completed

KYRENIA - Cihan News Agency
Pipeline to carry Turkish fresh water to Cyprus now completed

CİHAN photo

A pipeline project to deliver fresh water from Turkey to Turkish Cyprus was completed Aug. 7 with the assembly of the last piece to finish an ambitious 107-kilometer-long pipeline.

The project, called Barış Suyu (Peace Water), is now completed after the last pieces of the pipe were assembled with the participation of Turkish Forest and Water Affairs Minister Veysel Eroğlu.

The “Barış Suyu” (Peace Water) project will transport a total of 75 million cubic meters of water annually to the island, which suffers greatly from water shortages. 

Half of the amount will be used for irrigation purposes with the rest reserved for drinking water. The project also saw the construction of two dams and two elevation centers.

As a unique project to supply the island with water through sea pipelines, 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-long sea pipeline and a hanging pipeline which is 250 meters below the surface.

An additional 23 kilometer part lies on Turkish soil and a smaller pipeline on land carries the water to a station in Turkish Cyprus. 

The pipes were pieced together on vessels above the sea and then submerged after they were filled with water. 

In addition to water delivery, the “smart” pipes will also be able to determine potential damage beforehand with an array of transmitters and sensors inside the pipes for timely intervention.

The idea to deliver water to the dry island was first advanced by businessman Üzeyir Garih in 1995. 

However, it was not until March 2012 that the foundations of the project were laid.

The finalization of the project came at a time when peace talks between the Turkish and Greek sides of the divided island have been gaining ground. 

A “United Cyprus Federation” has been on the agenda of resumed negotiations, Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı has said.  All issues, excluding the current guarantor system, are on the table of talks, Akıncı told journalists on the sidelines of the July 20 ceremonies marking the 41st anniversary of the Turkish military intervention on the island following a pro-Greek coup. 

U.N. Security Council backing for the reunification of Cyprus is “encouraging,” though no timetable is on the cards, the United Nations Special Adviser on Cyprus said July 22. 

“All [15 Council members] were very encouraging for the work of the two leaders, and recognized the efforts they are making by thinking about the big picture instead of insisting on minor details,” said Espen Barth Eide, the Norwegian adviser on Cyprus to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Turkish Cypriot leader Akıncı said Aug. 6 that his administration regards the system of rotating presidency an indispensable part of political equality in Cyprus peace talks.

“We want the Turkish Cypriot people to take its rightful position with regard to international law. We are aware that  this can be achieved through a resolution,” Akıncı told reporters during a press conference in Nicosia.

The proposed system involves a federal state with a rotating presidency. On May 28, Akıncı and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades agreed on a five-step plan.

The steps included opening more crossing points, interconnecting the  power grids, allowing mobile phone interoperability on both sides of the island, resolving the issue of radio frequency conflicts, and forming a joint committee on gender equality on Cyprus.