The Eastern Mediterranean is becoming measurably hotter and drier, and many experts predict that increasing water scarcity will exacerbate conflict and political unrest throughout the region. Cyprus is equally affected by these developments, and although the island is divided, its resources are not. Preparing for a sustainable future in the face of climate change is one of Cyprus’s biggest and most immediate challenges. However, as a divided island with two administrations that engage in mutual non-recognition, there are limited opportunities for cooperation on an issue that requires joint and coordinated efforts.
One example of such unilateral planning is the new water delivery project that pumps fresh water from the Taurus Mountains of Turkey and carries it across 80 kilometers of sea to a large dam in north Cyprus, from where it is now being distributed to farms and homes. This report represents an initial assessment of the potential for this innovative water delivery project to address and prepare for climate change in the island, assessing the problems and potentialities for managing this new resource. Based on previous studies in both politically and environmentally sensitive regions, the report makes suggestions for cooperation in sustainable climate change management that may be implemented even in the context of a divided island and that, indeed, may encourage cooperation across the divide.