The Zero Drop-Mission Water project on track to save millions of litres of water and benefit tens of thousands of Cyprus residents

A new initiative exclusively funded by the Coca-Cola Foundation and implemented by GWP-Med is expected to save an estimated 5 million waters annually for the Municipality of Aglantzia in Cyprus through the use of recycled water and smart technology for green spaces irrigation.

The “Zero Drop-Mission Water” project was presented at the Spyros Kyprianou Park in the Municipality of Aglantzia, Cyprus, on April 25 2023, in the presence of the General Director of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, and Environment, Mr. Andreas Gregoriou, the Environment Commissioner, Ms. Maria Panayiotou, as well as members of Parliament, representatives of the Environment Committee, local authorities, and executives of Coca-Cola and GWP-Med.

Implemented by GWP-Med with the exclusive funding of the Coca-Cola Foundation, in collaboration with the Municipality of Aglantzia, the project builds on the legacy of the 10-year water resources protection program in Cyprus, “Mission Water”. It aims to conserve water resources, promote the use of recycled water and boost green spaces in Cyprus, a country particularly hit by climate change, suffering from frequent and extensive droughts.  

During his welcome speech, the General Director of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Mr. Andreas Gregoriou, congratulated the contributors of the “Zero Drop – Mission Water” project and highlighted: "We welcome this initiative which combines innovation to address these challenges, providing significant and cumulative benefits for the local community. This is achieved through excellent cooperation with local authorities, two globally recognized organizations in our country, Coca-Cola in Cyprus and the Global Water Partnership – Mediterranean, and with funding from The Coca-Cola Foundation.

Mr. Andreas Gregoriou, General Director of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment welcomed the contribution of “Zero Drop-Mission Water” in helping address the pressing issue of water scarcity in Cyprus.

Through the project's main intervention, focused on the Spyros Kyprianos municipal park, a new water storage and distribution system for treated wastewater is being installed. Municipal trucks will be able to fill up with treated wastewater at the refill station, and use it to irrigate several of the 60 parks in Aglantzia with water that will no longer be drawn from the aquifer. By substituting treated wastewater for freshwater pumped from groundwater resources, the project will save a minimum volume of 4,000,000 liters of water annually.

A second technical intervention consisted in the installation of smart water meters in 25 municipal parks in Aglantzia, providing real-time monitoring of water consumption in those parks that are connected to the water distribution system. This enables the municipality to identify excessive water use and locate potential leaks in the irrigation water distribution system, without the need for onsite visits, saving an expected additional 1 million litres of water per year.

Dr Nikolaos A. Skondras and Charalampos Lappas gave a guided tour of the work in Spyros Kyprianou Park

Environment Commissioner Ms. Maria Panagiotou highlighted the significant long-term contribution of the "Zero Drop – Mission Water" program: The program, running for 10 years, has achieved remarkable results, saving several million liters of water, positively impacting the lives of tens of thousands of residents in the country. Moreover, the Mayor of Aglantzia welcomed the synergy with Coca-Cola in Cyprus and the funding from The Coca-Cola Foundation and expressed his special joy for the municipality to continue the valuable legacy of the program, marking its tenth anniversary.

GWP-Med Chair, Professor Michael Scoullos  emphasized the importance of implementing tangible pilot actions for water saving. He stressed the crucial role that non-conventional water resources,  such as the reuse of water from properly treated wastewater, the recycling of greywater and the collection and utilization of rainwater can play for a water-stressed country like for an effective strategy for water security and adaptation to climate change.

Mrs. Maria Tzelepi, Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability Manager for Coca-Cola in Greece, Cyprus & Malta, emphasized that the Zero Drop – Mission Water program is of particular value for Cyprus as it decisively contributes to addressing water scarcity and promotes the cultivation of an environmental culture in local communities.

As part of the program's educational activities, more than 90 children from 2 schools in Aglantzia, Cyprus, learned about the water cycle and Cyprus’ water scarcity challenges. In a gamified part of the training, they played a new ‘snakes and ladders’ game developed in the frame of the “Zero Drop-Mission Water” project: students divided up in teams and worked to answer correctly the right water-related questions that allowed them to climb up the water hoses; and tried to avoid falling down the water pipes linked to wasteful practices.

Following the inauguration, more than 90 students from Cyprus primary and secondary schools visited Spyrou Kyprianou park and followed a water-security training course, designed by GWP-Med’s sister organisation, MIO-ECSDE.