Nicosia was deprived of gushing water from consumers’ taps for the fifth day on Monday as public officials were at each others’ throats blaming the other for poor planning and shoddy repairs at the main water supply pipeline from Larnaca.
The Tersefanou pumping station was shut down on Thursday after initial repair work was not enough to fix the damaged pipeline, according to the government’s Water Development Department.
But the Nicosia Water Board was quick to criticise the WDD saying that the rate of 2,000 tonnes of water an hour was not enough to meet the capital’s demand of 3,500.
NWB Director Nicos Zambakides had warned throughout the weekend that water cuts were already introduced and rationing will be reinstated, just as the summers of 2008-2010, whereby households will receive 12 hours’ of water every 48 hours.
Zambakides said that the pipeline will not be fixed until the end of the week or early next, when supply could be fully restored, regardless of the satisfactory levels of water stored in dams and reservoirs, and desalination plants producing at near capacity.
Agriculture and Natural Resources Minister Nicos Kouyialis said on Sunday that an emergency meeting is being called to review the next step and prevent such problems in the future, especially with the tourist season coming up.
In his frustration, Zambakides revealed on state television CyBC that the NWB has previously submitted plans for reform and efficiencies, one of which is to outsource the supply to private bidders through a build-operate-transfer (BOT) system.