Turkey has started constructing what will be the world’s longest undersea water pipeline. The 107 kilometer pipe will draw water from the Dragon River and unite the Turkish mainland with northern Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea. Proponents are hoping it will unify the island, divided for the past 39 years.
The suspended pipeline, moored to the floor of the seabed and well lower than where submarines can go, will carry freshwater from Turkish sources as much as 280 meters (919 feet) under water, Bloomberg is reporting. The first kilometer of pipe has been laid, in what will be a $484 million project.
The divided island is one of the most water-stressed places on Earth, and Turkey and Turkish Cypriots in the north have bickered with Cyprus over offshore natural gas discoveries recently.
The island is the mythological birthplace of the goddess of love Aphrodite.
Cypriot government environment commissioner Ioanna Panayiotou said that the pipeline is “not the best solution both in economic — too expensive — and environmental terms. Water is sensitive and might get polluted during the transfer.”
Others think that the water pipe might open the “channel” so that the Turkish north and Greek south can start mending old problems.
Greek Cypriots are already going ahead in their own way by building three more desalination plants to add to its current two plants.
Meanwhile, Turkey also plans on sending over a subsea transmission line to its northern parts as well.