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The Solea Valley Irrigation System

In Cyprus, the system of river diversion with channels throughout the year goes back thousands of years, while the system of water rights goes back at least to the Ottoman period, but probably to the period of Frankish rule in Cyprus. 

Such a system allows the sustainable use of water through flood irrigation either directly to the crops, or indirectly by recharging the aquifer of the fields and the water drawn up from wells. However, in Solea Valley of Cyprus, this system is highly inefficient and the area covered by this system inadequately irrigated. 

In this case study, this inefficiency is addressed in our days by the construction of a relatively large offstream dam, thus avoiding the drawbacks of a dam on the main river, but providing for modern irrigation methods with pressure pipes. In addition the dam will allow the use of water in crops even in the summer period, while the irrigation area will be adequately covered.

In this context, in this case study it is explored how the ancient practice of dam building has evolved particularly in the Solea valley, and emphasis is drawn on how it can be applied today to suit modern needs, in a sustainable way.