Cyprus mobile desalination dismantled

A €30 million (US$ 33 million) mobile desalination unit constructed to supply the city of Paphos on Cyprus's southwest coast is being disassembled after years of near idleness, according to local press.

The 2008 decision to install a mobile desalination unit by the Xeros River in Kouklia was taken amid extended drought on the island requiring water to be tankered in from Greece. According to newspaper, Politis, the unit has almost never been used since its installation in 2010 as Paphos' water needs were met from the Asprokremmos dam.

According to Politis, the unit operated only for a short period of time when maintenance work was carried out at the Asprokremmos dam and has since remained mostly inactive.

Acting head of the water development department, Andreas Manoli, told another newspaper, Cyprus Mail, "At that time, when the decision was taken to bring the desalination unit, we were in a state of panic. We were on the verge of being left without any water. Limassol only got water every ten days. We had already spent around €50 million (US$ 55 million) to bring water from Greece."

He said there were proposals for a permanent desalination plant at Paphos, with a decision to be taken in April. "The decision will depend on the water levels. At the moment Paphos' reservoirs have reached 60% of capacity, whereas the southern pipeline reservoirs are only 25% full," Manoli said.

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