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WASAMED Second International Workshop Thematic Network ¨ IRRIGATION SYSTEMS PERFORMANCE ¨ Tunisia, 25 - 28 June 2004. Country Report Cyprus. I. Papadopoulos, C. Metochis and Dora Chimonidou Agricultural Research Institute , Nicosia, CY.
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¨ IRRIGATION SYSTEMS PERFORMANCE ¨
Tunisia, 25 - 28 June 2004
I. Papadopoulos, C. Metochis and Dora ChimonidouAgricultural Research Institute, Nicosia, CY
In Cyprus, WATER is the mostimportant resource and a prerequisite for progress
Its scarcity has acted as a limiting constraint for the development of agriculture and for other economic activities such as tourism
Eastern Mediterranean is characterized by low rainfall, concentrated during the winter months, and a long, warm and practically rainless period
57% of irrigation water is
provided from Government
The sources are, surface
water, groundwater and
Irrigation outside Government
Projects is satisfied by groundwater.
Surface Water: Although the capacity of all the main dams is 274 MCM, the average annual amount of water available for use is about 102 MCM (during the dry year of 2000 the contribution to irrigation of all dams was only 28 MCM).
Of the 102 MCM, 82 are used for irrigation within Government Projects, 15 for domestic use and 5 for ecological areas.
Groundwater extraction is about 127 MCM per year. Such figure does not mean the safe yield of the aquifers, which is much lower.
Of this amount, 100 MCM are used for agriculture (26 MCM within the Government Irrigation Schemes and 74 MCM outside Government Projects).
Springs contribute very little, amounting to 3.5 MCM per year, for domestic use of the mountainous villages.
Desalination units at present contribute up to 33 MCM per year.
Treated sewage effluent: Presently, about 3 MCM is used, of which 2 MCM for agriculture and the rest for landscape irrigation.
have been used in Cyprus
agriculture for the last
Due to the relatively high
installation cost, the drip
method was initially used
for irrigation of high value
crops, such as greenhouse
vegetables and flowers.
At a later stage installation cost was reduced, and the use of drippers, minisprinklers and low capacity sprinklers was expanded for irrigating trees and field vegetables.
Proper hydraulic design of irrigation systems, offered free of charge by the Ministry, coupled by a subsidy of the installation cost, resulted in a rapid expansion of the new irrigation systems.
The farmers have extensively adopted modern irrigation systems.
It is estimated that currently over 95% of the total irrigated land of the country is being served by modern irrigation methods.
The new technology introduced is continuously tested in order to evaluate the different systems under local conditions and select the appropriate irrigation method for each cultivation.
For irrigation of permanent tree plantations both drippers and minisprinklers can be successfully used. Among permanent plantations, drippers are mainly recommended for banana, grapes and several other crops, like aromatic plants.
With the improved irrigation systems and proper scheduling of irrigation, based on experimental work of the Agricultural Research Institute, the overall water use efficiency at farmers level increased to above 80%.
The introduction of modern
particular attention is
given to hydroponic
culture on artificial
fertigation are also other
developments of major importance.
The microclimatic conditions in the greenhouse are controlled
in order to prevent fungal diseases of vegetables.
The most significant trend has been towards greater control
and automation, using programmable computer-based systems.
and better root aeration.
Water is by far the most
precious resource in Cyprus.
The quality of life and
almost all economic
activities depend upon the
presence of an economic
The present water situation is not sustainable, in spite of the impressive progress made in the last four decades.
Much has been done but still a lot remains in the realm of water resources development and management. The continuous target is to ensure sustainability of the water sector of the island.