Despite government support of agriculture, the future
Turkish Cypriot farming was threatened by an insufficient
water. Rainfall, long inadequate, in the 1980s was more
usual. In addition to the problem of scarcity was the
providing an adequate supply of water throughout the year
of the high costs of containment and distribution.
irregular river flow necessitated large storage
terrain required unusually high dams, and high erosion
rates in the
watersheds required extra storage space to allow for
reservoirs. Cost factors deterred significant construction
British administration until the 1950s, when a modest
initiated. After independence was gained in 1960,
dams and supply systems accelerated. In the 1980s, the
Cyprus undertook extensive water development projects.
Cypriot projects sometimes had unfavorable effects on
Cypriots, because many of the projects trapped water in
Mountains, where most of the island's rainfall and snow
prevented the flow of water downstream into the "TRNC."
Turkish Cypriots sought to alleviate their water
building dams and a series of irrigation networks. In 1989
was completed at Geçitköy, at the western end of the
and seven more dams were under construction, with another
so in the planning stage. As of the late 1980s, however,
5 percent of agricultural land was irrigable throughout
season. In 1976 Turkish Cypriots initiated a massive
project in the Kyrenia Range in the hope of attracting
rainfall into this region. The success of all of these
depended ultimately, however, on the level of rainfall,
declined during much of the 1980s.
Data as of January 1991