One by one, the practical problems that will arise in the event of the unification of municipalities and communities or even the clustering of some villages come to the surface.
One of these problems is that of the management of the beaches and that of the water supply of the new structures that will be created.
Today the management of the beaches is fragmented, resulting in non-uniformity in policies (laws and regulations), which prevents the creation of long-term development projects. This is how we see small-scale projects being carried out, while at the same time this proves to be a costly endeavor.
The same, perhaps to a greater extent, is the problem of water supply. Today there is no single body responsible for providing drinking water to cities and villages. Elsewhere, there are independent Water Supply Councils, and elsewhere, the municipalities themselves are responsible for the water supply. At the same time in the villages, the responsibility belongs to the local community councils. Tomorrow with the consolidation or clustering, a serious issue will arise. So far we do not know if the issue has been studied and decisions and measures have been taken to address it.
There is also the issue of water pricing which today is a mosaic. In each city, in each village, different tariffs apply. Will a decision be made to consolidate the price? The prevailing view, however, is that this must be done, since the inhabitants of the same municipality or the same complex of villages and communities cannot pay for water at a different price. In such a case will the prices go up or down? Will a decision be made to have a pan-Cypriot single price for drinking water? These are questions that need to be answered in a timely and safe manner before consolidation can proceed.
In discussions, even informal ones, the question arises as to whether issues such as water or beach management should remain under the jurisdiction of the local government or should be taken over by a state body.
However, especially with the issue of water, it is something urgent to have solutions and a clear picture. As we often face water supply problems, water shortages and frequent network failures, decisions should be made as soon as possible. In such cases of failures there should be alternatives so that even large settlements are not left without water for long periods of time. Typical was the case of Agios Tychonas, a large tourist community that was recently left without drinking water for several twenty-four hours. In this case there was no alternative as the network is autonomous and not connected to someone else who could support it. For the problem faced by the thousands of residents of Agios Tychonas the “24” wrote the following:
“The approximately four thousand inhabitants of Agios Tychonas and the many tourists who spend their holidays in hotels located on the borders of the community have been suffering unimaginably for some twenty-four hours. The necessary for the life and daily needs of man, the precious water, for days stopped flowing to the households, hotels and other premises of Agios Tychonas.
Without any warning or information from the Community Council, the water supply has been cut off and at least until recently the normal flow of water had not been restored.
As a result of the unbearable and unacceptable situation, permanent residents and temporary visitors are suffering and struggling in every way to deal with the situation. The rage and indignation has reached the point of no return, since no one bothered to inform them about the interruption nor to tell them how long they will be without water. They are forced to limit water use to a minimum to address scarcity. And while the solution for drinking water is relatively easy, even expensive, since the residents resort to bottled water, the same can not be said for other daily needs. Bathing, washing, cleaning. Drilling, tankers and other means have been employed to address the immediate needs. What is worse is that none of the community council felt the need to stand by the residents, give explanations and inform them when this torment will end. Residents speak of complete indifference and abandonment by community authorities.
Hoteliers are in a particularly difficult position. More than 30 hotels operating on the borders of Agios Tychonas face a very serious problem. Their owners live dramatic hours as they make superhuman and arduous efforts to provide the necessary amounts of water to meet the needs of the hotel units and their customers.
In fact, the fact that in the last few days unusually high temperatures prevail increases the demand for water, since, among other things, there is a need for watering flowers, gardens, etc.