Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Update on the Cyprus water shortage

As I type, the sky is grey and it's raining. Again. This winter seems to have been rainier than any I can remember for some years. I do feel sorry for British families who are out here for the half-term break, hoping for some sunshine and warmth, after a cold and snowy winter in much of the UK. It's only 15C today, and I'm feeling chilly despite wearing a warm sweatshirt and a fleece.

We are still limited to mains water every other day, for about ten hours. Since the cold water tanks are pretty big, this doesn't really pose a problem for us, although it reminds us to be reasonably careful. However, our neighbours still hose down their patios early in the morning, and wash their cars with hoses at the weekend (when the police are not working). The Cypriot mindset seems to be that rain will come eventually, and that there's really plenty to go around... despite the reservoirs being less than 10% full a couple of months ago.

Admittedly, the signs are somewhat positive at present. According to the Cyprus weekly, water stocks are rising. The reservoirs are now at around 12% full, and they hope that de-salination will provide the extra that's needed this summer. The water tankers coming from Greece will continue until March, but the contract will not be renewed. The government may even reduce the rationing.

It doesn't seem very wise to stop getting the water from Greece, or to consider giving us mains water all the time, since 12% is still pretty empty. Certainly, the island is looking very green at present, and according to a friend in Paphos, some rivers are flowing again. We've heard, too, that there's more snow than usual in the Troodos mountains. When it melts, it will help to replenish the reservoirs somewhat.

But there's no guarantee that next winter will have much rain, and if we start being given water continually, our Cypriot friends and neighbours will use their hoses daily, rather than every other day.

Ah well. This IS Cyprus. And I suppose the relaxed attitude of 'God (or the government) will supply the water' is more healthy than continually worrying about whether we're going to run out. Until we actually DO run out, of course...


Suzanne said...

I've been watching the Troodos ski webcam. It's great to see the snow. Looks like it got stuck on Monday the 16th as the picture hasn't changed for several days. Glad to hear you're still having rain!

Anonymous said...

There is snow on troodos and there is LOTS of it. We were there last weekend (when the forecast was for snow storms).We were lucky to be in the middle of one such storm and we loved it :-)
Still sorting out the 100s of photographs, finding it difficult to choose a "few" to post!