Heavy rainfall, but dams half empty

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Despite recent heavy rainfall, Cyprus may still not have enough water to meet its needs for irrigation and water supply for households, as experts warn that dams are half empty.

Dam levels are dangerously low, meaning that the island may not meet its irrigation and water supply needs next year.

In comments to media outlet Stockwatch, a technical engineer of the water department Marios Hadjicostis, said that rainfall so far is considered to be poor to moderate, as the average amount of water stored by dams is only at 47.7% of their overall capacity.

Some 138.8 million cubic metres of water have found their way to Cyprus dams, compared to 215.5 million cubic metres of water last year or 74.1% of the total capacity.

The total capacity of the dams is 290 million cubic metres of water.

“To reach a safe point, some 96 million cubic metres of water must flow into the dams by March,” said Hadjicostis.

He noted that at the largest dam in Cyprus, Kourris, the stored quantity is 48.4% capacity, compared to 78.9% a year ago.

The second-largest dam in Asprokremmos has a capacity of 52.4 million cubic meters and is at 63.6% of capacity.

In the eight most important dams, the total stored volume is 84.987 million cubic metres, equivalent to 44.9% of their capacity.

This time last year, these dams had stored 138.446 million cubic metres at 73.1% capacity.

Hadjicostis noted that there is still hope, despite the Met Office prediction for a dry year.

“We need an inflow of 96 million cubic metres of water to the dams by March, as the inflow since October 1 is only 1.2 million cubic metres.”

He added the rainfall expected in the coming days would not change the balance, as it is concentrated in the cities and not where the dams are.