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Water resources

Renewabe water resources

A water balance cannot be easily calculated for the government-controlled area of Cyprus. A water balance for the whole island, however, indicates 900 million m/year of renewable water resources. Surface runoff is estimated to represent about 830 million m/year. The natural aquifer recharge is estimated at 300 million m, of which about 70 million m flows to the sea and 100 million m emerges from springs.

There are 14 main rivers, none of which provides perennial flow. The source of water for these rivers originates in the Troodos mountains. The main groundwater aquifers are the Western Mesaoria (Morphou), Kokkinochoria (South-eastern and Eastern Mesaoria) and the Akrotiri. Smaller aquifers exist in other parts of the country.


In 1995, total dam capacity reached 299 million m on the whole island, up from 6 million m in 1961 and 64 million m in 1974. New dams for storing water for irrigation are planned, particularly in Paphos province in the south-western part of the island. Additional dams are also planned for Lefkosia province in the centre of the island, but a substantial quantity of this water will be diverted for domestic and industrial use and to compensate for the loss of water recharge downstream of the dams.

Non-conventional water sources

At present no desalination of water takes place, but a desalination plant is expected to become operational in 1997, with a total capacity of 7 million m/year.

Currently some 40 million m of wastewater are produced annually on the whole island. Only 16 million m of this amount is being treated, mainly in Leflkosia province where Nicosia City is located. Nicosia has a city-wide sewage processing plant, part of which is not under government control. About 11 million m is being reused for irrigation purposes, mainly in the part of the island that is not under government control around Nicosia. Only 1 million m/year is reused for the irrigation of hotel gardens and recreation areas in the government-controlled area. Plans are available to utilise more as soon as the central sewage plants at Limassol, Larnaca, Ayia Napa and Paralimni in the govermnent-controlled areas are completed and the water treatment plants are in place.


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       Quote as: FAO. 2016. AQUASTAT website. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Website accessed on [yyyy/mm/dd].
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