Water shipment to Cyprus held up by short pipe

NICOSIA, July 7 (Reuters) - A ship carrying 40,000 cubic metres of Greek water to drought-parched Cyprus has been unable to offload its cargo because of a short pipe, officials said on Monday.

The 1,400 metre pipeline connecting the tanker to shore proved to be be 3.5 metres (11 feet) too short, causing a delay in the water being pumped into the island's water network. The water was to have been offloaded on Sunday.

"There was an issue with the alignment of the two ends of the pipeline," Michael Ioannides of Ocean Tankers, commissioned to bring the water to Cyprus from Greece told Reuters.

"We are talking about an additional 3.5-metre piece of pipe on land and the flexible pipeline underwater on the other end".

The vessel carrying the 40,000 cubic metres of water, more than double the quantity held in Cyprus's 17 main reservoirs, has been anchored off Cyprus for the past week.

"We don't know when it will come on line precisely. It's a matter of days. There are some technical details which need to be resolved," an Agriculture Ministry source told Reuters.

It was the first of several shipments of water imported from Greece to Cyprus, which will receive a total 8 of million cubic metres by the end of November. (Writing by Michele Kambas, editing by Bate Felix)