ENVIRONMENTALISTS AGAINST NEW GOLF COURSES IN CYPRUS

Andrea Hausold - Apr 6, 2009
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Fourteen new golf courses will be built in Cyprus in an effort to boost the country’s tourism. Every golf course will have a desalination plant to supply it with water. Environmentalists oppose the project as harmful to the environment.

Cyprus is going to develop fourteen new golf courses that will be added to the current three. The project that was approved by the government in February faces harsh criticism from mainly ecological initiatives because of the lack of water in Cyprus. The island turns to nearly a desert in the summer months. Its reservoirs dry up time to time and the islanders sometimes even have water supplied by ships.

However, golf courses need lots of water thus the government decided that every new golf course will have its own desalination plant that should provide it with the needed water. According to the spokesman for the Cyprus government, Stefanos Stefanou, the facilities will not be given water by the government. The desalination plants should also be powered from renewable sources of energy.

Cyprus officials hope the golf courses will boost the ailing tourism industry. The fact is that arrivals were down 14.2 percent in the first two months of 2009 and the situation is likely to get worse. The golf tourism should help to diversify the Cyprus tourism market.

However the critics doubt that the project will help tourism in any way and state that it is rather to serve the business development and developers. Currently 85 million cubic meters of drinking water are needed to meet the population’s needs. The courses will need additional 30 million cubic meters of water which is according to the critics impossible without using fuel-fired energy generation.

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