THE reservoirs around Cyprus are only 54 per cent full and are much lower than last year, Agriculture Minister Nicos Kouyialis said yesterday.
Last year at this time, dams were 90 per cent full. The level of water has not increased sufficiently despite the extreme weather conditions in Cyprus recently.
Kouyialis was unable to rule out the possibility that farmers could have cuts to their supply.
“The level of water in the dams is right on the limit and if the drought continues then there could be a problem with the water which is supplied for irrigation purposes,” he said.
Those who may face a problem are those who receive water from the southern pipeline, Kouyialis added.
“A solution needs to be found because drought severely affects agriculture and livestock farming, so if we want to develop agriculture in Cyprus, water needs to be constantly available for our farmers,” he said.
The Agriculture Minister said that the Water Development Department will make the final call when it comes to the possibility of cutting off water to farmers.
“If the level of water at the dams decreases further then there is a small possibility that cuts could take place,” he said.
The area that has seen the biggest drought according to Kouyialis is the Famagusta District which is supplied by the southern pipeline.
“We have already made certain arrangements so that farmers in that region receive sufficient water, for enough hours so that they can water their land,” he said.
Secretary-general of the farmers union Nektarios Karyos said that following the financial crisis, extra emphasis needs to be put on developing the field of agriculture.
“Agriculture cannot exist without water,” he said.
He added that there is the possibility of creating new jobs in the sector to help deal with the consequences of the financial crisis.