Cyprus will have the worst winter of all time in terms of rain as dam levels from October 2013 to April 4 amounted to just 8.97 million cubic metres, the lowest figure recorded to date, according to the Water Development Department.
This puts the current level of the island’s dams at 48.5% of capacity compared to 87.6% this time last year.
The lowest ebb, until now, was more than ten years ago, in the year 1990-1991 when dam water capacity was at 12 million cubic metres (mcm).
The Water Development Department (WDD) said that the period from October 2013 to September 2014 will be the worst of all time since it is expected that water levels will not significantly change and increase before October.
Rainfall in April was recorded at an average of just 29.9mm and seasonal rainfall since October is only 43% of the norm.
According to the department, in October 2013, there was 0.384 mcm of water in relation to 0.748 mcm in the same month in 2012 and 0.308 in 2011.
In November 2013, 0.672 mcm of water was recorded and 1.063 mcm in December. In February, the highest recorded was at 2.251 mcm and 1.964 in March.
WDD said the best years were 2003-2004 with 150.5 mcm, 2011-12 with 191.8 mcm and 2009-10 with 140.2 mcm and 2008-9 with 97.4 mcm.
The only dam that has reached full capacity is that of Kalopanayiotis, followed by Asprokremmos with 79.8% (41.8 mcm water), Evretou with 79.6% (17.18 mcm), Kanaviou with 66.2% (11.36mcm), Arminou with 67.7% and Mavrokolimpos with 69.3. All other dams are around 50% full.
The department said that despite dam levels they are not planning to cut the water supply. However desalination plants will be in operation much earlier than previous years to secure the necessary water quantities.
To this end, the Department said an additional €8 million will be needed for this year.