Notes from Lapta, Cyprus – If? by Ken Dunn

There is one precious resource Cyprus as a whole has, albeit dwindling. It’s not citrus, the weather, the culture, history or the geography. It’s none of these. It is, without doubt, WATER! Without it conditions for every one and every thing would change dramatically. We all experienced that a few years ago when an extremely serious drought crept over the island and lasted for around four years.

Although it eventually ‘re-focused’ the minds of both Governmental authorities, either side of the ‘green line’, with many (older) suggestions for pipelines, floating ‘balloons’ full of water from Turkey, water tankers from Greece and the installation of desalination plants, the problem of providing the life giving liquid still remains. The water table has dropped. The Beşpinar Spring above Lapta is a perfect example of that. It was once a gushing torrent. It’s now a pathetic dribble.

Yet on both sides of the line water is still regarded as a common place, and very cheap, amenity for everyday life, available to all by simply turning on a tap. Despite the heavy fines which the local authorities can apply these days for wasting it many folk still insist on pulling out a hosepipe and, with ‘gay abandon’, use hundreds of gallons of the stuff, continuing to wash down their car(s), water their gardens, their front steps and the road in front of their houses. Shops and business venues can be seen doing the same thing. That doesn’t, sadly, seem likely to change any time soon.

So, the problem can only get worse. And to make things even more difficult how many houses in Cyprus, north or south, have their own private pools? I shudder to think of how much water is simply evaporating away on a daily basis. There are now some restrictions being applied to ‘new build’ properties in the TRNC. If I’m right, and I stand to be corrected here, any new ‘villa’ with or without a pool has to have a water re-cycling system installed. Well, that can only be a good thing, if it’s true. I have the feeling that it will only defer the main problem. Life sustaining water, which we all take for granted, is going to be much more precious than gold for our children and grand children in the not too far distant future.

This is really depressing, isn’t it? Yes it is, but these thoughts were originally triggered by something completely different from the ‘lack’ of water rather than having ‘too much’ water. Stay with me. I’m not ‘rambling’. Well, not yet. I might still fail but all, I hope, will be revealed. It’s a circular route. Back to ‘water’.

Many years ago the Mediterranean, along with many other parts of the oceans of the world were being ‘plumbed’, looked at and surveyed. That is still going on. The scientific term for this is ‘Bathymetric Mapping’. A shortened explanation of this means the ‘measurement of the depths… to give a topographic map.’ In plain English, sonar pulses, just like submariners use, reflect the shape of the ocean bed and a map of all the ‘bumps’ so that they can be seen. Clever stuff!

As far as this island is concerned these surveys revealed the assumption that at one time, possibly 10,000 years ago, Cyprus was merely a part of a larger land mass, the European, Russian, Asian continent, before the Mediterranean Sea existed. The notion was that Spain and North Africa were joined at Gibraltar and that ‘land bridge’ between them collapsed allowing the Atlantic to flood through. Quite a theory.

Justification for Noah, the Ark and all the rest of that venerated story followed. Others have speculated that this not only engulfed the whole area but also wiped out the mythical empire of Atlantis, said to have been situated about sixty miles or so due south of the present Karpas peninsular of Cyprus. The centre and origin of all things civilised from millennia gone by. Well, there’s a thing! If ever it was, or could be proved, can you imagine the reaction from our ‘Hellenic’ friends? We could all stick up two fingers to them forever after.

Now, whether that is true or not is neither here nor there. The important factor is that these same under water technologies might well be being employed to find the mystical Atlantis state but they could also be an aid to the present process of looking for oil, gas or, much more important, new aquifers, sources of water, from the continuing geological changes which take place beneath us.

Turkey and Greece have been grumbling about the ‘rights’ for oil exploration in the Med for years. The internationally recognised distance for ‘territorial rights’ for any country from their shoreline is, as far as I’m aware, 12 nautical miles. That computes as approximately 22 kilometres or 14 miles. If I’ve miscalculated that please don’t clog this site with specific corrections.

In any case would it not be an interesting situation if Turkey tapped a substantial reservoir of the ‘black stuff’ between itself and the TRNC? There’s a mere sixty miles or so across the Med so there’s plenty of room for explorative ‘manoeuvres’. The best part about that is that Greece could find itself ‘without’! In a world of dwindling oil resources the political ramifications would be fascinating to watch. Recognition for the TRNC?

More important than that might be the discovery, capture and channelling of new, substantial aquifers from an undersea source. As I suggested earlier, what goes around, comes around. I can only hope that it comes around soon and brings back the flow of gushing water that the TRNC used to have.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.