‘Recent downpours are pushing us back towards last year's levels'
More Water flowed into the islands' dams yesterday following three days of solid rainfall, increasing total reservoir capacity by nearly one per cent.
Water Development Department senior technician Fedros Rousis said at this rate the amounts would exceed last year's dam capacity.
"In the last 24 hours, from yesterday until this morning, large quantities [of water] flowed into the dams, exceeding 3.2 million cubic metres. This is very good news," he said.The dam that registered the largest water inflow was Paphos' Asprokremmos with 1.327 million cubic metres, followed by Arminou dam with 533,000 cubic metres.
"Kouris dam had an inflow of 384,000 cubic metres," he said.
In the past 24 hours dam capacity had increased from 23.5 million cubic metres to 26.7 million cubic metres.
"That is nearing last year's water levels when the dams' capacity was 10 per cent with 28.9 million cubic metres. Today the dams' capacity is nine per cent. I'm sure over the next few days we will exceed last year's," he said.
Rousis said although it might not rain over the next few days, the past few days' rainfall would continue to flow into the dams.
He added: "If we exceed last year's capacity the situation will be better. I don't expect that in the coming days the water shortage balance will be fixed but the situation will somewhat improve."
Already 10 million cubic metres had flown into the dams this January, compared to last January's 2.6 million, he said.
"I hope this continues throughout February and March so that the dams' situation is much improved. We need quite a lot more rain and rainy months to meet the expected rainfall for the month and not a return to the drought. We are only now reaching the normal levels of rainfall for January, when we exceed this for the month then we have a high inflow into the dams," Rousis said.
Ideally more rainfall was needed in the mountain regions as opposed to coastal areas, he said.
This was because the water would flow into the dams from the mountains, he explained.
"We need to have a few more days over the next few months like the past two weekends where we had three days of rain and then I hope that our [water] reserves will improve by a lot," he said.
Hazard warnings for several roads
Police yesterday cautioned drivers heading for Troodos that the roads were only open to four-wheel drive vehicles or those fitted with chains. Visibility was also poor with period of heavy fog, police said.
Announcements were issued for a number of mountain roads including Kakopetria-Pine Wood-Pedoula, Pedoula-Kalopanayioti, Pedoula-Kykkos-Kambos, Prodromos-Lemithou and Orkonda-Kambos-Pyrgos.
Police said due to the heavy rains a number of rocks and mudslides had fallen and blocked the roads and efforts were being made to clear them.
In the Paphos district the Ayios Nicholas road in Polis Chrysochous and the road leading from the old Paphos-Limassol road towards Mandria Paphos village were closed after rivers overflowed.
The Kelokedaron-Stavrokonou, Salamiou-Kelokedaron and Filousas-Arminou were also deemed dangerous, police said.
Drivers using the above road were cautioned to be particularly careful and to comply with traffic signs and regulations to avoid accidents.
Though many of the roads will have been cleared by today, motorists are warned to be extra careful when heading to the mountain areas and more remote villages.