Record rain­fall dou­bles Cyprus dam in­flows

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - CYPRUS -

Record rain­fall dur­ing the last few days has dou­bled wa­ter lev­els in the dams, with some reser­voirs reach­ing ca­pac­ity and over­flow­ing, while oth­ers have had ex­cess wa­ter di­verted to the gi­ant Kouris dam, near Li­mas­sol, mu­sic to the ears of farm­ers.

The flow into the dams raised stor­age lev­els to 82.26 mil­lion cu­bic me­tres, or 28.3% of the sys­tem’s to­tal ca­pac­ity of 290.8 mcm as of Fri­day morn­ing. This is more than dou­ble the rate of year-ago lev­els, when after a spell of droughts, wa­ter in all dams to­taled 40.2mcm or 13.8% of to­tal ca­pac­ity.

Sta­tis­ti­cally, Jan­uary seems to be the wettest month to date, as in just nine days rain­fall has al­ready reached 82% of the av­er­age, ac­cord­ing to Wa­ter De­vel­op­ment Dept. data go­ing back to 1961.

The amount of pre­cip­i­ta­tion mea­sured up to the last rains on Wed­nes­day reached 84.3mm. The av­er­age for the en­tire month, based on Met Of­fice statis­tics since 1961, has been 102.4mm, a rate that could very soon be over­taken.

Com­bined with the rapid drop in tem­per­a­tures, due to cold front mov­ing east­ward from Greece, a lot of the rain has be­come snow, with snow­fall re­ported on Wed­nes­day morn­ing at 70cm on the is­land’s high­est peak of Mt Olym­pus and 50cm at Troo­dos square.

The heavy rain­fall

and snow

has

also re­sulted in a num­ber of roads clos­ing to all ve­hi­cles, with 15 pub­lic schools and kinder­gartens in the higher moun­tain ar­eas re­main­ing closed on Wed­nes­day.

Three small reser­voirs, at Ar­gaka

and Po­mos near Po­lis Chryso­c­hous and Kalopanayi­o­tis in Ni­cosia Dis­trict have al­ready reached 100% ca­pac­ity and are over­flow­ing, while Xyliatos is al­ready at 95% and Mavrokolym­pos in Paphos dis­trict is at 88%.

The is­land’s big­gest dam at Kouris, with a ca­pac­ity of 115 mcm, is the pri­mary sup­plier to the South­ern Con­veyor sys­tem, and was al­ready at 21.1% of ca­pac­ity on Fri­day morn­ing, far more than the 8% this time last year.

The se­cond big­gest dam of Asprokre­mos in Paphos dis­trict has a ca­pac­ity of 52.4 mcm and is al­ready at 37% ca­pac­ity, nearly dou­ble from 19.3% a year ago.

Agri­cul­ture and Nat­u­ral Re­sources min­is­ter Costas Kadis re­cently warned against com­pla­cency, adding that con­sumers should keep on sav­ing wa­ter, as if dur­ing a drought sea­son. He said that the ra­tioning sys­tem of re­duc­ing wa­ter sup­ply will be re­viewed at the end of the month and ev­ery month up un­til the sum­mer tourist sea­son where con­sump­tion peaks, es­pe­cially after the record ar­rival of hol­i­day­mak­ers, ex­pected to ex­ceed 4 mln this year,

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