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Turkish Water Relieves Worse Cyprus Drought For 900 Years

Turkish Water Relieves Worse Cyprus Drought For 900 YearsThe stalled project to supply drinking and irrigation water to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) through the Northern Cyprus Water Supply project was finally restarted with an agreement signed between Turkey and North Cyprus. Water had been flowing into the Geçitköy dam for a short period before an argument surfaced over who would manage the project. This disagreement caused the water flow to stop and for the TL 1.6 billion ($576.3 million) to be put into jeopardy.

This water could not have arrived at a better time, as NASA announced findings that the drought which began in 1998 in the eastern Mediterranean Levant region, comprising Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey, is likely the worst one in the past 900 years.

With North Cyprus receiving 75 million cubic meters of water per year from the Turkish town of Anamur’s Dragon Stream this will have obvious economic benefits for the north. Optimistically, because of this increased flow of water, land prices in North Cyprus are expected to increase 300% over the next two years and agricultureal employment is expected to increase by 40%. With more land being used for agriculture, less will be available for property development so the expectation is that house prices will rise too.

With water shortages increasing in the south and without a solution to the Cyprus Problem the south loses the benefit of this water and suffers the economic and social impacts of drought along with the rest of eastern Mediterranean Levant region. However, if Cyprus grows to depend on Turkish water then in the future threatening to turn it off could be a potential tool for blackmail. Or, considering that south Turkey is also part of the area NASA believes will suffer from drought, the water may stop flowing because it is needed in Turkey.

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