Turkey Finishes Longest Undersea Water Pipe to Aid North Cyprus
Turkey completed the world’s longest undersea water pipeline, part of a $538 million project to bring fresh water beneath the Mediterranean to northern Cyprus.
Construction of the 80-kilometer (50-mile) undersea section, suspended as much as 280 meters (919 feet) under water, was finished and tests are expected to start within two weeks, Turkey’s water management authority said on Friday. Other sections will be finished by year-end, it said.
The pipeline is designed to carry 75 million cubic meters (19.8 billion gallons) of water a year to northern Cyprus, with half destined for farms where it is expected to more than double production. The island is one of the most water-stressed places in the world, according to the World Resources Institute.
Cyprus has been split between the south, a European Union member, and Turkish-held north since Turkey invaded in 1974 to quash a coup aimed at uniting it with Greece. Greek Cypriots make up three-quarters of the 1.1 million residents on the semi-arid island, the Mediterranean’s third-largest.
Supporters of the project say it may help to reunite the island, while others counter that both the economic and environmental cost is too high.