Liopetri Pilot Area

The Liopetri area, is situated in the Southeast Area of Cyprus and is a coastal area with a small temporary stream. Usually during summer there is not sufficient flow to detect water quality but during autumn the stream is heavily loaded because of the runoff of the agriculture activities. Aquaculture, waste disposal, industrial effluents, and significant amount of nutrients either from agricultural sources or from animal breeding activities act for the ecological situation of the area to deteriorate.

Liopetri area belongs to the Kokkinochoria aquifer. The Kokkinohoria aquifer is the largest aquifer in eastern Cyprus. The aquifer has an area of 295 Km². It is mainly unconfined with some limited confined areas. The general direction of flow is towards the south where the aquifer is quite permeable and reaches the sea.

Kokkinohoria aquifer used to be one of the most productive aquifers on the island but overpumping during the last 50-60 years has resulted in a dramatic depletion of this aquifer. Water levels in the aquifer within 2 km from the coast have dropped from 0 m a.m.s.l in the late 1950’s to  –50 m a.m.s.l. In the last decades, water levels in coastal areas have risen because of sea intrusion. The amount of groundwater mined from the aquifer during this period is roughly estimated to be around 350 million m³ (mcm)

Seawater intrusion due to overexploitation and the nitrate pollution due to intensive use of fertilizers are the main causes of groundwater quality deterioration in the study area. Much of the southern area of the aquifer consists of rich agricultural land, with soils of very high metal oxide content. The area is used for the cultivation of vegetables, and particularly potatoes. A large portion of the agriculture is irrigated.