Stakeholders from Pedieos River Basin Join the Debate
Research conducted by The Cyprus Institute indicates that in the near future Cyprus will experience more drought years, more extreme rainfall events and more days with temperatures above 35 ⁰C.
The first BeWater Project workshop at The Cyprus Institute gathered environmentalists, community leaders, town planners as well as businesses and officials from water, agriculture and environmental sectors. Together they identified the key challenges for the future of water management in the Pedieos River Basin in Cyprus.
The participants were asked to map their ideas for sustainable solutions to help Cyprus adapt to climate change. Some of the options proposed by the diverse group of stakeholders during the workshop included; more equitable allocation of water between different users, better implementation of environmental legislation, cleaning up riverbeds, awareness campaigns and the expansion of parks alongside rivers.
With climate change looming, getting water management right is becoming even more important for Cyprus and the water scarce countries in the Mediterranean region. Adriana Bruggeman, Research Scientist at The Cyprus Institute, explained that this is the reason why the BeWater Project aims to do things differently. The European funded BeWater project is leading a process of dialogue and collaboration between scientists and society in river basins in Spain, Slovenia, Tunisia and Cyprus.
Mr Kourtellaris, an agricultural producer, explained that for him "water means existence and a source of income". The Director of Bird Life, Claire Papazoglou, said that "adaptive water management plans need to consider the role of biodiversity in maintaining ecosystem services". For Public Works Officer Stavros Kleanthous water is a "continuous challenge towards sustainable urban drainage".
From September 2014 onwards, interviews with experts and authorities and public talks will take place to expand this process further. A second workshop will be organized in June 2015 to collectively evaluate these climate adaptation proposals and plans.
More information: Elias Giannakis: e.giannakis (at) cyi.ac.cy
Photos: Christos Zoumides