Cyprus is in its third year of drought with water in dams at the lowest levels since 2008, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis said on Thursday.
In a statement, he said that 10 years ago, the island had to bring in water via tanks from abroad, and now demand for water far exceeds the supply available.
The ministry must now decide how to distribute water, particularly with farmers, Kadis said.
Starting this year, there will be cuts in irrigation but not in domestic supply.
“With the available quantities of water at the moment, we can cover the needs for water regarding our farms and crops to preserve the trees. Our priority is supplying water to greenhouses while for seasonal crops, the quantity of water distributed will be reduced.”
Under no circumstances will the ministry sit back with its hands crossed and it recognises the need to support farmers, Kadis said.
Requests to the European Commission have already been filed for additional support for damages, he outlined.
Works are currently in progress to create a desalination plant in Paphos while the cabinet has recently approved talks which allow desalination units in Episkopi and Vasiliko to significantly increase their capacity.