The water researchers of the Cyprus Institute presented a Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Pedieos River Basin to the Environment Committee of the Cyprus Parliament, on 15 February 2017. Modelling studies conducted by The Cyprus Institute show how Cyprus is becoming warmer and drier, whereas more flood events can also be expected. Societies need to become aware how to adapt to these changes. The Adaptation Plan for the Pedieos River Basin was developed as part of BEWATER, an EU-funded science and society research project. Similar plans were developed in Spain, Slovenia and Tunisia, with support from research organizations from Belgium, Germany, UK and the European Commission. Dr Adamos Adamou, chairman of the Committee on Environment, stressed the importance for Cyprus to participate in such European research cooperation projects.
The Pedieos River Adaptation Plan was developed in close cooperation with national and local governmental and non-governmental organizations, representing agriculture, water, environment and education sectors. At the same time, various awareness and educational activities were organized to introduce young and old citizens to climate change and possible options for adaptation. Dr Elias Giannakis of The Cyprus Institute emphasized the important role of science-society cooperation in the development of effective and cost-efficient solutions for tackling the multidimensional challenges of climate change.
A total of thirty climate change adaptation options were elaborated in the Adaptation Plan and the costs of their implementation were quantified by the researchers. Dr Christos Zoumides of The Cyprus Institute explained that the chances of future flooding in the urban area of Nicosia could be reduced if people implement water-harvesting systems to capture and re-use the water from their roofs. Other options include permeable pavements and green roofs with drought-tolerant Cypriot plants. A strict implementation of the Code of Good Agricultural Practices was highlighted as a key option for reducing the pollution of water resources by animal manure and agricultural chemicals. The adaptation plan also prioritizes the licensing of all groundwater boreholes, the installation of water meters and pricing of all water uses as critical options for maintaining our groundwater resources under a changing climate. The vice-chairman of the Committee of Environment, Dr Charalambos Theopemptou, highlighted the eminent need of implementing the prioritized adaptation options.
The Committee Members acknowledged the importance of scientific research in adapting to climate change and they expressed their willingness to cooperate in finding viable solutions. They also encouraged the researchers to follow up on the implementation of their studies.
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