The research site in Cyprus is the Peristerona Watershed, situated along the steep northern slopes of the Troodos mountains and ending in the Mesaoria Plain. The watershed is 112 km2, with elevation ranging between 1540 and 140 m above sea level. Long-term average annual rainfall ranges between 750 mm (mountains) and 270 mm (plain), and reference evapotranspiration averages 1300 mm. Long-term average daily minimum temperature is 2ºC in January, and average daily maximum temperature is 34ºC in July. The streamflow in the foothills of the mountains is 12 Mm3/yr (2–26 Mm3/yr). In dry years the stream flow does not reach the plain. There is a series of seven groundwater recharge check dams in the streambed in the plain. There are stream diversions for irrigation, but the majority of the irrigation water is groundwater.
There are eight small villages in the mountains who cultivate grapes, hazelnuts, apples, cherries, almonds, and few plots of irrigated vegetables on mountain terraces. The population has halved over the past 30 years. Agriculture is shrinking, and many terraces are no longer maintained. In the foothills and downstream there are four communities and the population is relatively stable. Here we find rainfed barley and irrigated citrus, olives, potatoes, alfalfa and vegetables.
Other projects in Peristerona Watershed are:
- FP7 RECARE (2013-2018): Preventing and remediating degradation of soils in Europe through land care. Monitoring and modelling water erosion and developing communal maintenance of mountain terraces in the upstream area;
- H2020 BINGO (2015-2019): Bringing Innovation to ongoing water management – a better future under climate change. Monitoring and modelling forest water dynamics with sapflow and soil moisture sensors (PhD research) and streamflow in midstream and downstream areas;
- AGWATER (2012-2014): Options for sustainable agricultural production and water use in Cyprus under global change (Cyprus RPF). Computation of blue and green water use (FAO56, double crop coefficient) and economic indicators for all agricultural plots in Cyprus.
Plans for INNOMED include:
- To install soil moisture and meteo sensors in 4 farmers fields (2 upstream, 2 downstream) to monitor and improve agricultural water use;
- To model forestry water use and agricultural water use;
- To model water resources management;
- To analyse the economics of crop production and water management;
- To demonstrate and discuss sustainable options with stakeholders.