In recent years, water shortages and rationing has been a feature of summer life in Cyprus. According to Kyriacos Kyrou, the Director of the Cyprus Water Development Department this is â€œNo longer on the cardsâ€.
January 2012 was the wettest month in eleven years with three times the average rainfall leading to huge inflows of water to Cyprusâ€™ dams. In total, almost 93 million cubic metres (mcm) of water flowed into the reservoirs during January.
The result is the islandâ€™s reservoirs are now at 73.9% of their total capacity and Kyrou estimates that with proper management this can last three to four years.
Cyprusâ€™ two new desalination plants will both come on stream in that time. The Episkopi desalination plant, with a nominal capacity of 40,000 cubic metres of water per day is expected to start operation in late May 2012, while the Vassilikos desalination plant is expected to come into operation during March 2013.
The majority of the recent heavy rainfall took place in Paphos District in the west of Cyprus. This has led to the islandâ€™s second largest reservoir â€“ the Asprokremos â€“ being filled and water is now overflowing the dam. The reservoir at Kanaviou is also full and that dam is overflowing as well. The Ayia Marina dam and Cyprusâ€™ third largest dam, Evretou, are also expected to overflow in the next days.
When it rains in Cyprus, the standard comment is always â€œWe need the rainâ€. Sure we do, but weâ€™ve had enough now and for the next three to four years. Bring back the sunshine!