Smaller dams set to overflow

Smaller dams are expected to overflow in the coming week while stocks in all the dams are currently at 60.4 per cent of capacity, the water development department said on Friday.

The corresponding figure for the same period last year was 73.2 per cent.

“This is a good year,” chief technical officer Marios Hadjicostis told the Cyprus News Agency, as “we are almost halfway to reaching the goal of 75 per cent by March”.

If the goal is not reached, then quantities allocated to irrigation will be reduced in comparison to last year.

However, he was optimistic that thanks to the unstable weather, this goal could even be surpassed if a new barometric low affects the island.

Hadjicostis said that stocks are lower compared to previous years, but this year’s inflow of 41 million cubic metres (mcm) so far is higher than a total inflow of 36 mcm in the previous hydrological year.

With the exception of 2018-2019 and 2019-2020, inflows in recent years have not surpassed 50 mcm. But Hadjicostis said they look like they might this year, with the possibility of “reaching the 10-year average of 95-96 mcm”.

The Xyliatos, Argaka and possibly Pomos dams are expected to overflow in the coming week, while the Lefkara dam is not despite being 90.1 per cent full.

For this to happen, Hadjicostis explained, we would need another round of heavy rains and a new barometric low weather system, which are not likely to be repeated.

At the same time, the water development department regularly pumps water out of the dam to delay its overflowing.

Acording to figures issued by the met office on Thursday, rainfall since October 1, 2021 has come in at 104 per cent of normal for the time of year, while the monthly rainfall until Thursday morning reached 68 per cent of the average for January.