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News Lebanon to provide water to Cyprus free of charge

The drought-hit Mediterranean island of Cyprus will try to import water from Lebanon rather than impose usage restrictions, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Friday 07 march.

"One key measure we are looking at is the transportation of water in tankers from a neighbouring country, and our efforts are focusing on Lebanon," Michalis Polynikis told reporters after holding a crisis meeting on Friday. He said experts are now examining the feasibility of shipping large quantities of water by tanker from Lebanon, with a final decision expected within 10 days. Polynikis said Lebanon is willing to give Cyprus large quantities of water free of charge, so the only cost would be transportation. There are also the logistics of getting the water from the ports to a reservoir once it arrives by ship.

Crisis talks were held to find ways to survive a chronic water shortage brought on by a two-year drought and unseasonably warm weather. Polynikis said he was searching for the "least painful" alternative for Cypriot citizens. Another option under review is imposing water quotas for every household, whereby those found exceeding the limit would be charged a premium. Although opposed to water cuts, Polynikis said a quota system on consumption would "send the message to ordinary people that they must conserve water." As part of a longer-term solution to the holiday island's water problems, the government plans to build more desalination plants and bolster output from existing ones.

On the other hand, Member of the Lebanese Development and Liberation parliamentary bloc MP Nasser Nasrallah warned all officials that such move could engender big dangers "since we are facing a sharp shortage in the water wealth." He urged officials to study the matter with a lot of seriousness. Nasrallah told Al-Manar Television on Saturday that the issue was a national one, and therefore, any move in this sense requires the approval of the Lebanese Parliament.

Read also: " Cyprus and Water Imports from Greece, Egypt, and Lebanon".

Contact information ©
News type Inbrief
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Source of information ©
Keyword(s) drought
Geographical coverage Cyprus, Lebanon
News date 10/03/2008
Working language(s) ENGLISH , FRENCH