Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Thirsty Cyprus left three meters short of water supplies

Terra Daily via Agence France-Presse: A 3.5-metre (10-foot) miscalculation with the final section of an undersea pipeline is depriving Cyprus of badly-needed water supplies shipped over from Greece. Greek Cypriots on Monday were still awaiting the precious cargo to reach shore, a week after it arrived off Cyprus.

The specially-built 1,320-metre undersea pipeline falls 3.5 metres short of a land pipe which is to channel the water to a distribution centre, said the shipping company involved in the project. The connecting pipe from the ship is not long enough after experts apparently miscalculated the length.

A red-faced Agriculture Minister Michalis Polynikis told state radio of his "surprise" over the latest snag because up until Sunday lunchtime he was confident water would be offloaded. The drought-parched island is in desperate need of additional water supplies from Greece to replenish dwindling reserves, but it now has to wait until the problem is fixed.

A Cypriot shipping firm is to ferry a total of eight million cubic metres (280 million cubic feet) of water from Greece to help ease the holiday island's water crisis. The entire deal will cost the government more than 40 million euros (62 million dollars) but still only meets half the island's estimated shortfall of 16 million cubic metres by the end of this year….

Cyprus seen from space, NASA, Wikimedia Commons

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