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An brief article on the ongoing desertification of Cyprus.

Cypriot towns are out of control; 8 out of 10 buildings approximately do not have any thermal insulation. A lot of heat is extracted mechanically from the interiors of overexposed buildings and together with the humidity is thrown out. The towns fill up with this hot and humid air. The cars multiply and the roads can't (and won't ever) catch up unless we shift to mass transport and reduce today's load. The toxic fumes coupled with the humidity will bring more asthma, bronchic ailments and cancer. This is how life in the City develops.

 Our single largest aquifer has been overexploited. The water table has been sinking to new depths every year. Accordingly, the soil surface is becoming a crust. Any occasional rain goes down very quickly or evaporates as the absence of a near water table allows the soil to bake in the hot summer sun. Young trees cannot grow without moisture, some of the old ones lose the water from their root system and die. The Mesaoria plains, fabled as the most productive area the island had to showcase only 30 years ago is completely barren. Many areas throughout the island have already been affected. This is how life in the Country develops.

The 1,5 billion m3 water deficit that we have built up has lowered the water table. We believe that the only strategy to stop desertification is to allow the water table to rise. Based on patchy information (for the lack of reporting by the competent authorities) our break even consumption is 170 million m3 of water per annum. We consume 200 million m3. To reverse the cycle we must draw and use less water than the break even. For argument's sake, an annual consumption of 140 million m3 of water, though a very painful 40% decrease over what we consume today, will still cover the deficit only after 50 years have gone by (1.5 billion/30 million)..

The decrease in consumption can come from many sources-all shamefully gaping holes in our water management system. 

Boreholes do not have a water meter installed. Users are free to draw however much they please, often selling the water.

Agriculture, consuming nearly 70% of our water supply, generates a 3,6% contribution to GDP and 5,5% employment, mostly imported labor specially for the purpose.It shouldn't be so.

Our water supply system is not modern, or high specification. It is generally circulated that we may be losing at least 20% of our water due to faulty pipes. For lack of data I cannot comment further. 

Desalination can work, but the power source should be renewables, as we may peg the cost of producing water to the cost of electricity and oil, which is generally assumed that it is finite in quantity. 

We must calculate the size of population that can be supported via renewable sources. Though members of the EU and subject to open skies agreements, we do have a maximum size beyond which the environment will become very hostile.  Due to our EU accession the population of the island is expected to rise by 67% over the next 30 years.