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Upcoming projects for the Green and Digital Transition of Larnaka Water Board, with the contribution of the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility

The Republic of Cyprus has been allocated €1.2 billion by the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) which is part of the Next Generation EU, a recovery package to support member states hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The RRF will finance reform and investments in Member States for the period 2021-2026. The aim is to mitigate the economic and social impact of the coronavirus pandemic and make European economies and societies more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions.
For the purposes of the RRF, each Member State has developed a Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) describing the reforms and investments to be implemented during 2021–2026. Cyprus’ RRP is based on five policy axes, namely (1) Public health, civil protection and lessons learned from the pandemic, (2) Accelerated transition to a green economy, (3) Strengthening the resilience and competitiveness of the economy, (4) Towards a digital era and (5) Labour market, social protection, education and human capital.
The Cyprus Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) includes a 7 million euro investment to support Larnaka Water Board’s (LWB) efforts to improve customer service and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the utility operations. LWB’s investment comes under the RRP’s Policy Axis 2 and specifically Component 2.3 – ‘Smart and sustainable water management’, which comprises of actions in the field of Water Supply and Sewerage Services.
The LWB’s mission is to ensure the continuous water supply of adequate quality, while simultaneously dealing with challenges such as water losses and the need to upgrade the network and technological infrastructure. This investment will allow the utility to address these challenges significantly by implementing two distinct projects. The investment projects are titled “Construction of a 10,000 m3 reservoir at Klavdia” and “Adoption of smart technologies to improve the efficiency of Larnaca Water Board (LWB)”.
The first part of the investment involves the construction of a new 10,000 m3 reservoir at the LWB’s compound at Klavdia, where the utility’s existing reservoirs are located. The new reservoir will be constructed with reinforced concrete and will allow the utility to ensure continuous supply to its customers for 24 hours in the case of interruption to supply. It will also provide an additional water supply source for the Municipality of Aradippou, which has recently been integrated to LWB’s water supply area.
The estimated budget for this work is €3 million and includes, besides the reservoir construction, the installation of mechanical equipment and landscaping of the surrounding area. The construction works are due to start at the end of 2021 and are estimated to finish in 2023.
The second part of the investment involves the implementation of smart technologies which includes the establishment of a complete smart water metering system, the installation of sensors in the network, the development of a Digital Twin Decision support system and the creation of an online platform for consumers. The smart water metering system involves the installation of 56,500 smart water meters at customers’ premises, which will transmit wirelessly meter readings and alerts. The smart meters will be connected to an online platform enabling customers to view their consumption, receive alerts and carry out applications online. Sensors will be installed in the network to monitor parameters, such as water pressure and water quality and will allow for optimized monitoring and operation of the network. Data from the meters, sensors and other equipment will be transmitted to a Digital Twin, which will simulate real-time operations of the water supply and distribution network and will be used in conjunction with algorithms to project and predict trends and serve as a Decision Support Tool.
The estimated budget for the adoption of smart water technologies is €8.75 million, of which €4 million euro will be funded by the RRP. Commencement of works for the implementation of smart water technologies will begin mid-2022 and will be completed by June 2026.
The LWB investment contributes to the green transition of the organisation, as its targets support the mitigation and adaptation to climate change and meeting the EU’s 2030 climate targets and climate neutrality by 2050. The construction of the new reservoir directly relates to the adaptation to climate change as it increases LWB’s water supply capacity in case of a climate-related risk. The adoption of smart water technologies will facilitate the improved collection, processing and visualisation of data and decision-making, thus enabling efficient monitoring and operation of the network, faster detection of leaks and consumer water conservation behaviour. The results will lead to a reduction of water lost from leakage and wastage, with subsequent reductions in energy and associated greenhouse gas emissions for the production of desalinated water or pumping and treatment of water from existing supply sources. The LWB investment also contributes to the digital transition of the organisation as it targets the adoption of innovative technologies, such as Internet of Things (IoT), sensors and actuators for real-time monitoring and control, communication infrastructure, the use of digital twins and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools.