As we are all very much aware, there was very little rainfall during the winter months, a fact which rather obviously leads to the conclusion that there will be even more severe water shortages this summer than last.
A meeting was held in mid-April in Syros, bringing together the mayors of all the Cyclades to discuss the situation. They all expressed their concern for the coming months as there are neither water tankers available to bring water to refill the reservoirs nor were the works for solving the water problem progressing fast enough. They asked that the Ministry of Internal Affairs allow them to proceed with projects without having to wait the legally required time period of the quotation process, so that they could move ahead more quickly. They also requested the Ministry to give special attention to the water issue as it is too significant a matter to be addressed by the Cyclades alone.
The Municipality of Paros is currently in the process of trying to secure a loan of 300 million drachmas in order to fund a long-term solution. In the meantime, they continue to find new underground sources and to run some tests on desalination. "We can face, but not solve the problem this year", they tell us. And although they hope to avoid enforced water cuts during the high-demand season, this may become inevitable if everyone does not make a concerted effort to save water as much as possible from now.
The water authority, DEYAP, have issued a special announcement which is displayed all over the island in which it is specifically forbidden to use mains water for:
1. Filling swimming pools.
2. Works for buildings under construction.
3. Watering of gardens.
4. Agricultural purposes.
5. Cleaning verandas, pavements & roads.
6. Using a hose for car washing or house cleaning.
Anyone found violating these regulations will be fined by officials of DEYAP, together with the local police who will conduct periodic checks on water usage.
Everyone is asked to understand the urgent problem which exists so we can face the especially difficult summer season all together.
New water prices have been approved by the Municipal Council. The basic water service charge is fixed at 2,500drs, basic drainage charge is also 2,500. The amount of water used is charged by the cubic metre, with the unit rate increasing according to usage, and varies according to location on the island. Additional drainage charges are also levied depending on usage (160drs per m3 used - up to 100m3, 250drs per m3 used - for more than 100m3).