Kannaviou dam – photo Petros Kyriakides
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Fourth largest dam overflows

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The Kannaviou dam in Paphos became the eighth dam in Cyprus to overflow this year, as the island’s total reservoir capacity reached 89% due to generous rainfall throughout the winter months.

Kannaviou is the island’s fourth largest dam with a capacity of 17.17 million cubic metres. It was built in 2006 and has since overflowed four times – on March 2, 2010, January 28, 2012, December 23, 2012 and January 7, 2020.

Cyprus’ second largest dam, Asprokremmos in Paphos, overflowed in early February for the eighth time since built in 1982, as stormy weather swept across the island.

Kannaviou dam lies on the Ezousa river and is the island’s first concrete-face rock-fill dam (CFRD). This design provides the concrete slab as an impervious wall to prevent leakage and also a structure without concern for uplift pressure.

In addition, the CFRD design is flexible for topography, faster to construct and less costly than earth-fill dams.

Kannaviou-Asprogia is perched in the heart of Paphos national forest, making it a delightful destination for trekkers and photographers. It can be reached from Stroumbi and Polemi to its west, and from Pano Panayia and Statos to its east, lying within the Cyprus wine country.

All but two out of the seven dams in the Paphos district have now overflowed.

The local dam in Evretou, with a capacity of 20.48 million cubic metres, is close to overflowing (95%), while the smaller Mavrokolympos dam, with a capacity of 1.2 million cubic metres is currently at 55.6% capacity.

Water reserves are higher than this time last year, which will help Cyprus deal with a cycle of dry years.

According to the Water Development Department, Cyprus dams are at 89% capacity, above the 75.6% level on the same day last year.

Cyprus has 19 dams, with a total capacity of 246.6 mcm.

More rains, thunderstorms

Meanwhile, Cyprus is set for more rain in the coming days, as the Met Office said a low-pressure weather system is affecting the island, bringing isolated thunderstorms throughout the week.

Earlier in March, Cyprus was hit by another low-pressure weather system, dubbed Philippos, which brought heavy rainfall and snowfall, with Nicosia seeing its share of snow for the first time in almost a decade.

Thus, the island’s reservoirs are also expected to see more incoming water flows as the snow on the Troodos mountains begins to melt with the rising temperatures.

The height of snow at Troodos square on Monday morning was 25 and 40 centimetres at Mount Olympus.