Ironically, the availability of water affects demand and property prices, especially for foreign buyers who have a choice of country. This foreign market, until recently, brought in about 2 billion euros per year and created thousands of jobs.
A relatively recent protest by foreign residents in the village of Tala in Paphos, as well as warnings from various tour operators about water, are indicative of a problem.
We have had rain in recent years and this, along with the existing desalination plants, has helped with the water supply.
As for some political parties and even the parliament, no one is to blame for the unacceptable situation that is unfolding, except God that the rain did not fall.
What is needed is a solution to the problem. Water scarcity in this part of the world is growing and needs to be better managed. Having experience in construction, we believe that the following measures will help:
Before obtaining a building permit, each new building must submit a water saving plan, such as water reuse, new technologies, etc. Since energy saving is foreseen, water saving requirements must be foreseen.
Ban single-flush toilets and only allow dual-flush toilets, saving thousands of tons of water, especially in offices.
All swimming pools should be covered when not in use to reduce water loss through evaporation. With thousands of pools in existence and under construction, this adds up.
The price of water should double after one ton per day per household or a maximum consumption of 30 tons per month for 4 people. For plots over 1000 sq.m , drilling of a well for water is required.
All water used during construction, for example for spraying slabs and making concrete, must not be drinking water, but water from wells or cisterns. As with temporary power to buildings, the contractor may either need to drill a well on site or transport water by tanker for building needs.
Only water-saving washing machines and dishwashing liquids should be allowed.
Golf courses must use desalinated water from the state at the expense of entrepreneurs. Wastewater can also be used.
When it comes to water use, some control is needed. Private local government inspectors could monitor the implementation of the policy. Practices such as washing sidewalks, cars, terraces and watering gardens with potable water should be stopped. The payment of these officers may come from collected fines.
Water scarcity is one of the biggest problems facing Cyprus and we are sure everyone agrees on this in theory, but can it be put into practice?
Antonis Loizou & Associates EPE – real estate appraisers, real estate agents and real estate consultants