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In 1993, total water withdrawal in the government-controlled area was
211 million m│ of which 74% for agricultural purposes, including both irrigation (70.6%) and
livestock (3.3%). Water withdrawal for domestic and industrial use in 1993 was 23.7% and 2.4% respectively. The trend in recent years, which is likely to continue in the
future, is that increasing quantities of water will be used for domestic water supplies at
the expense of agriculture. This has been necessary in view of an increasing standard of
living, an expansion of tourist services and industrialization.
Considering the whole island, 70 million m│ of groundwater flows to the
sea yearly and 270 million m│ is either pumped out or emerges from springs, leading to a
total extraction from the aquifers of 340 million m│/year. As the annual recharge has
been estimated at 300 million m│, there could be up to 40 million m│/year of excess
pumping over natural recharge. As a result, the total area of Cyprus is experiencing a
gradual decline in groundwater yield, a lowering of the water table and, in certain cases,
sea water intrusion.