Water Management for Sustainable Agriculture in Cyprus

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"Cyprus with a total area of 9250 sq.km is inhabited by approximately 750,000 people. Its climate is typically Mediterranean with hot, dry, long summers and rainy mild winters. The average precipitation for the whole Island, in a normal year, is 500 mm where the evaporation is around 2000 mm. The rainfall varies from 300 mm in the plains to l,200 mm on the Troodos mountain. About 80% of the rainfall comes in the winter months. Being an Island the only conventional water is the one that originates from the precipitation which is estimated around 900/year, 600 MCM as surface runoff and 300 MCM as groundwater. The high temperatures, the winds, the low air humidity and the high solar energy, during the summer months, result in high evaporation which makes irrigation a necessity. Since there are no perennial rivers in Cyprus the only way to provide water for irrigation and other needs during summer is from reservoirs (surface or groundwater). About 50% of the total area of the island is arable but only a small fraction of this is irrigated due to the very limited water resources. Out of the 500,000 hectares of arable land only 36,000 hectares are now irrigated."
water resources, resource management, sustainability, agriculture