Project of The Century – Turkish
Water coming to Northern Cyprus
By Chris Elliott
When I republished recently an article from the TRNC Public Information Office click here about a statement by the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc who said: “It’s all over, water reached Cyprus. Next step is to perform distribution and water management” I used the title ” Turkish water has arrived in Northern Cyprus ” on our article and it had and continues to have massive readings.
Perhaps this is from so many people wanting to read good news of events about Northern Cyprus and perhaps those in denial not wanting to accept change.
Having noted the fantastic interest being shown for the water pipeline from Turkey to Northern Cyprus I sought help from the TRNC Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Public Information Office to visit the Geçitköy Dam complex and they, in turn, contacted the Turkish DSI Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs State and on confirmation that I could visit the complex the PIO offered to help by giving an interpreter to accompany cyprusscene on our fact finding mission.
On a warm sunny day recently we collected Çiğdem Çağlar and drove to the pumping station on the beach at Guzelyalı to meet with Naci Yildirim who is the project building manager for DSI and has been working on the Geçitköy Dam project for the last three years. Naturally working through an interpreter it’s a little difficult to establish all of the facts but we will try to tell you here of what we were able to learn.
On the foreshore there is a pumping station that has 3 pumps of which 2 will be in use with a 3rd on standby in case of a problem with one of the other pumps. The pumping station is already connected to the Geçiköy Dam with pipe work and awaits the final connection to be made from the pump house to the inbound pipeline from Turkey. We also understand that the final sections of the sea bound pipeline are now being installed.
In the seashore complex, like many other places in Northern Cyprus, there can be seen stockpiles of various sizes of water pipes awaiting installation in various areas and we understand that these pipes have a life expectancy of around 100 years. Also driving around we have seen many places in the TRNC where pipes are being installed so the vital work of dealing with the infrastructure is well underway.
We then went up to drive across the Getçiköy Dam and just standing there it is so incredible to see the massive task that’s been undertaken. When the dam is filled it will be around 60 meters deep, the current depth is 8 to 10 meters. The water in Turkey is fed from a height of 130 meters above sea level so it gravity feeds across the undersea pipeline to North Cyprus where it will be pumped up to 100 meters in the Geçitköy Dam. The water will be pumped into the dam on a continuous basis and during the course of one year it will have been refilled 3 times. From here there are 3 pipes feeding water outward and we were fascinated to learn that water will also be pumped further up the mountain to the water treatment plant, which is currently under construction.
Driving away from the dam we drove further up the mountain before turning off and we visited the water treatment plant which stands at 280 meters above sea level. This plant was vast and well on the way to completion with an inbound holding tank receiving water some 150 meters from the dam below and an outbound holding tank where the water can be gravity fed into the distribution system around Northern Cyprus.
We understand there is a planned commissioning date and have asked the following questions from Mr Birol Çınar the DSI project manager and show his answers below.
- Q – Is the water supply infrastructure now completed in Turkey so that the water supply can commence when the Turkey to TRNC pipeline is completed?
A –Within the Intended scope of work, Alaköprü Dam is completed from which the water will be brought.
- Q – Is the water pipeline from Turkey to TRNC completed?
A – 23km transmission line, which will bring water from Alaköprü dam in Turkey to offshore facilities which are located right next to the sea, is complete
- Q – If not, how many kilometres of pipes remain to be added and what is the planned completion date for this?
A – 25,5 km of 80 km pipeline which will be brought hanging under the sea is complete. The whole is aimed to be complete by August 2015.
- Q – On completion of the pipeline installation, is the infrastructure in place to allow the water to be pumped into the Geçitköy Dam?
A – TRNC Güzelyalı pumping station together with Geçitköy pumping station and the 3,5 km transmission lines that will bring water from the sea side to Geçitköy dam, construction is complete.
- Q – What is the date for the starting of water being pumped into the Geçitköy Dam?
A – Construction of Geçitköy Dam is complete. (Cyprusscene does not have the actual inauguration date at this time – see No. 6 below).
- Q – On completion of the filling of the dam is there a date when regional distribution across TRNC will start?
A – Construction of the 200 000 m3/day capacity treatment plant that will purify coming water continues. It is aimed to be completed within 2 months. When water transition water-distribution pipeline is complete, water will reach the Geçitköy dam. (All infrastructures and superstructures are ready).
- Q – Which regions of TRNC will receive water first?
A – From the water distribution pipelines which will distribute water to all of the island and that is 475 km long:
- 67 km transmission line that will transmit water to Nicosia district is complete
- 55 km of 161km pipe line that will distribute water to Kyrenia area is complete. The work is aimed to be fully complete by December 2015.
- 50 km of 154 km pipe line for Famagusta area is complete. It’s aimed to be fully complete by April 2016.
- 10 km of 95 km pipeline for Karpaz area is complete. It’s aimed to be fully complete by January 2016.
So the water brought from Turkey can be purified and distributed throughout TRNC by April 2016.
We hope from what we have written above that the many readers of our previous articles about the water project it is clear that we are so close now to the sound of Turkish water gushing out of those taps and we plan to return to bring you a project update very soon before the final grand event when the service is celebrated and to tempt you to return to our articles we show below a video of the concept of the incredible project.
We also leave you with that statement “It’s all over, water reached Cyprus. Next step is to perform distribution and water management” and from the above it is clear that in the not too distant future the tap will be turned releasing the water that so many people are waiting for and we will bring you more news as soon as we have it…..