Cyprus is an island country located in the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea and has a total land area of 9254 km2. It is a semi-arid island country with mild winters and hot, dry summers. The climate of the country exhibits spatial and temporal variations because of the varying topographic characteristics arising from the mountainous terrain. There are limited water sources which are mostly dependent on the yearly rainfall which is scarce, leading to a water stress index of over 65% (abstraction/availability ratio). Due to the high volume of tourist arrivals, it also experiences a long-term high water demand, with the agricultural sector of the country being most affected. Water demand for irrigation (agriculture and landscape) is around 160 MCM (59% of the overall water demands), while 29% of the overall water demand is for domestic use, 5% for tourism, 3.3% for livestock farming and 3% for industrial use.
However, the attempts to mitigate the water scarcity problem have led to the overexploitation of groundwater sources, leading to seawater intrusion into coastal aquifers and to the deterioration of quality and quantity of the available fresh water. The increasing demands of water for irrigation and human consumption, has led to the development of various infrastructure projects and initiatives in Cyprus, such as dams, seawater desalination plants, urban wastewater treatment plants and water reallocation projects (large conveyors/reservoirs/boreholes). Moreover, there are various policy and agronomic measures in place to assist the alleviation of the irrigation water demand, such as the reuse of treated wastewater for irrigation and the extended use of advanced irrigation systems.
Lessons learned from successful reuse
The fact sheets presented here include an analysis of the reasons behind the high rate of water reuse in Cyprus. Each factsheet represents a necessary component underpinning Cyprus success stories. Therefore, factsheets should not be seen isolated but as a whole knowledge package that can be only transferred if other aspects are also taken into account. In order to present this idea of unity, an additional summary fact sheet titled "Keys for Success" will be created. This fact sheet will be highlighting the commonalities behind the successful reuse in Cyprus.