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Peace River to Cyprus From Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean

Transnational and regional scale co- operation programs are needed for the implementation of sustainable water policies in the region.The first step to this end is building an environment of confidence by taking into account the rights of each country and acknowledging the decisive role of water in sustaining the regional peace and stability.

Seeking solutions which remains on the agenda in different parts of the world for a sustainable water management leads new co-operation policies in the international arena. Adoption of a rational water management policy is of high importance for these solution policies to be more effective. It is also important that countries in the region in this framework go for a co-operation for the future in water management of the Mediterranean region.

Global climate change makes rational management of water mandatory in the Eastern Mediterranean and throughout the world. New approaches toward water management must be taken in the shortest time possible. Turkey, taking a very important step in the water co- operation, has already linked a river from its geography to Cyprus. Turkey has implemented the Peace River Project assuming expenses in financial and technical areas as well as the security measures. Within that context, it would be a more rational policy for the international community to be in quest of co-operation over this project for the future of the region instead of denying Turkey's approach solely with a political rhetoric.

Total 125.98million m3/year of water is used in the TRNC, of which 24,65 million m3 is for potable water and 101,33 million m3 for irrigation. 18 million m3 of that amount is sea water entering Güzelyurt aquifer due to excessive drawing of groundwater. It is estimated in the demand projections for 2035 that need for potable water and tourism and industrial water will be 54 million m3/year3. Having a total of 129,000 hectares of irrigable land, the TRNC will need 649 million m3 of water should the whole area be irrigated with modern technologies4. Taking into consideration the fact that 101,58 m3of water presently has been consumed for agricultural irrigation and that low added-value of this water, a reality arises that entails a different approach in dealing with agricultural sector in the TRNC.

In this context, selection of a specific pattern of a plant which acclimatizes with the climate and ecology of the Island and needs marginal amount of irrigation water poses a necessity. Regarding that, it would be technically and economically more rational to allot a ratio of 80% of water brought from Turkey for services sector.

Within this approach, rational, planful and productive use of water offers a huge opportunity in terms of socio-economic development of the Island and contribution to the resolution of political instability in the region. Recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean region has further increased the importance of the Peace River Project in building regional cooperation and confidence.


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