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Fewer water cuts in summer, minister says.

Byline: Anna Hassapi

DUE TO the increased rainfall over the past few months, there is a strong possibility that water cuts will be reduced in the summer, Agriculture Minister Michalis Polynikis said yesterday

The issue will be discussed at a general meeting scheduled for today and any decisions that emerge will have to gain the approval of the Council of Ministers, he said.

"Definitely things are much better than last year. Regarding the management of drinkable water, we are given the opportunity to handle it in ways that do not create serious problems for consumers," Polynikis said.

According to information released by the Ministry, water reserves in Cyprus have more than doubled compared to last year, which was a record disaster. At present there are 78 million cubic metres of water stored in dams and reservoirs, compared to 33 million cubic metres at the same time last year. The present amount, however, represents just 26.9 per cent of the total water storage capacity on the island.

Polynikis also referred to the operation of a number of water works that allow flexibility on the management of potable water. "The desalination programme is moving as normal with the aim of total independence of drinking water provision from rainfall. Today's situation is much better regarding potable water. The situation allows us to better handle the water from desalination units at Larnaca and Dhekelia, as well as the floating units, until the completion of the permanent units at Episkopi and the EAC at the Vasiliko area," he said.

Polynikis, however, warned that the water provision for agriculture may not meet all needs or expectations. "We are seriously concerned about the issue of agriculture because despite the doubling of water reserves compared to last year, we will still not be able to satisfy all the needs of the agriculture sector."

The Minister also announced that a quantity of 12 million cubic metres of water will be saved back by the end of 2009, to ensure there is enough water for consumption in 2010, in case there is no adequate rainfall in the next winter season.

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Date:Mar 27, 2009
Words:363
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