Germasogeia riverbed artificial groundwater recharge in Cyprus

National Id
Site name
Germasogeia river, Limassol
Germasogeia river (also known as Amathos river) crosses the premises of Germasogeia municipality, close to the city of Limassol on the south end of Cyprus. The aim of the measure implementation is to enable natural purification of water and recharge of Germasogeia aquifer, processes that were disrupted by the construction of an upstream dam. This is succeeded by gradually releasing water from the upstream dam and maintaining the high transmissivity of the riverbed.
Κύπρος (Kýpros)
RBD code
Data provider
Ayis Iacovides, I.A.CO
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study
Climate zone
warm temperate dry
Mean rainfall
Mean rainfall unit
Average temperature
Mean evaportranspiration
Mean evaportranspiration unit
Mean runoff
Mean runoff unit
450 - 600 mm
Average runoff coefficient
Average imperviousness
Case Study Info
Light or indepth?
Average slope range
Vegetation class
Bare river bed with disperds reedbeds
Monitoring impacts effects
Administrative annual cost information
Estimated Costs for the operation of the measure (Scientific staff and field assistants (at 10% of their annual time) not including drilling and construction but including travelling and analytical costs are about 18000€/year.
Performance impact estimation method
Catchment outlet
Performance impact estimation information
Monitoring included: surface water released, flow in stream monitored by four weirs 700 m apart, groundwater pumping, water-table fluctuation through 43 observation wells, samples for chemical analysis to monitor sea intrusion and a groundwater model.
Application scale
Installation date
Performance timescale
< 1 year
Area (ha)
Size unit
Design capacity description
15000 - 25000m3/d of water released, on average
Max water retention capacity
Max water retention capacity unit
Runoff treatment capacity
Runoff treatment capacity unit
A streambed aquifer of high transmissivity and large storage coefficient is required. High infiltration capacity is also needed of the riverbed to enable recharge to occur. Low or free from sediment surface water will maintain infiltration rates.
Favourable preconditions
Availability of surface water (reservoir), need for increased recharge due to use of aquifer, suitable hydrogeologic conditions of streambed aquifer such as high infiltration capacity and permaeability coupled with high storage coefficient.
Inflow volume
Inflow volume unit
mio m3/day
Public consultation
Contractural arrangements
Design contractual arrangement
Arrangement type Responsibility Role Comments Name
Design consultation activity
Activity stage Key issues Name Comments
Design land use change
Land use change type
Beaches, dunes, sands
Design authority
Authority type Role Responsibility Name Comments
National water authority
Water development Department
Key lessons
Germasogeia is a typical river alluvial aquifer in Cyprus. Natural recharge depends on releases from an upstream reservoir or from water imported from elsewhere (Kouris Dam). The application†™s main lessons are: a) the aquifer is used as a natural water treatment plant of fresh surface water, b) the water demand is covered with groundwater of acceptable quality, c) the aquifer is protected from sea intrusion and, d) groundwater losses to the sea are minimized due to regulation of pumping and recharge.
Financing mechanism
Financing difficulties
Success factor(s)
Success factor type Success factor role Comments
Existing staff and consultant knowledge
main factor

Studies and good knowledge of aquifer response. Models and trial releases are needed

Attitude of relevant stakeholders
secondary factor
Financing type Comments
National funds
Barrier type Barrier role Comments
Limited staff and consultant knowledge
secondary barrier
Demanding practice requiring good hydrogeologic knowledge of system to fine tune releases.
Attitude of decision makers
secondary barrier
Driver type Driver role Comments
Legal obligations
main driver
Downstream user rights affected by construction of Germasogeia dam together with increasing water demand
Organisation committed to it
secondary driver
Financing share
Financing share type Share Comments
National funds
Policy description
Natural recharge disrupted by upstream reservoir is reconstituted by releases and artificial recharge to maintain pumping of groundwater for domestic water supply to communities in the area. Conjunctive use of water sources increases available supply.
Part of wider plan
Policy target
Target purpose
Groundwater Recharge
Increase Water Storage
Pollutants Removal
Oher Societal Benefits
Policy pressure
Pressure directive Relevant pressure
Policy area
Policy area type Policy area focus Name Comments
Policy impact
Impact directive Relevant impact
Policy wider plan
Wider plan type Wider plan focus Name Comments
Drinking water supply
Policy requirement directive
Requirement directive Specification
Direct benefits information
The aquifer is used as a natural water treatment plant. By the regulation of the aquifer a) the water demand with groundwater of acceptable quality is met, b) sea intrusion is controlled and groundwater losses to the sea are minimized.
Ancillary benefits information
Defertment of additional works to meet growing water supply demand (desalination, treatment works, drilling for wells etc.) Reduced cost of water supply to consumer.
Costs capital
Costs capital information
Estimated costs for drilling of 5 observation boreholes (2500€each) equipped with water level recorders (1000€ each) and construction of 4 weirs at every 700 m along the riverbed (3000€each) with recorders (1500€each). Earthworks within riverbed (2500€).
Costs operational
Costs operational information
Estimated expenses 6000€/year Dam Attendant for releases and Technician for operating weirs and carrying out monitoring. Assumed 20% of their time per year. No cost of fresh water is assumed.
Costs maintenance
Costs maintenance information
2500€/year for earthworks within riverbed. 1000€/year to maintain recorders, wells and water meters.
Costs total information
No costs for the upstream reservoir or for the pumping wells are considered. Estimated costs are of the order of 60000€ for observation wells, weirs, earthworks, and initial studies by hydrologists and engineers.
Economic costs additional
Information on Economic costs additional
Estimated cost for staff for evaluating results of the measure and planning of its further implementation being about 7500 €.
Ecosystem improved biodiversity
Information on Ecosystem improved biodiversity
Riparian vegetation as habitat has improved.
Ecosystem provisioning services
Information on Ecosystem provisioning services
By 1988 the overall extraction for domestic water supply 65% of which was for meeting part of the needs of Limassol town, and the total needs of 4 nearby communities increased by 90% compared to that prior of the measure in 1982.
Ecosystem impact climate regulation
No specific impact
Information on Ecosystem impact climate regulation
It can be said that some impact of the measure may have to do with reduction of energy use and GHGs (desalination, treatment etc.)
Retained water
Retained water unit
mio m3/month
Information on retained water
The number given refers to monthly average infiltrated water (1982-87) between weirs 700m apart (or 1400 m length) and a riverbed of 50 m width.
Increased water storage
Runoff reduction
Increased water storage unit
mio m3/year
Information on increased water storage
The number refers to average annual quantity pumped (1982-88) from the aquifer as a result of the artificial recharge plus losses from the upstream reservoir.
Runoff reduction unit
% Percent
Information on runoff reduction
The number refers to the ratio of extraction of 1988 to that of 1982
Ecosystem erosion control
Information on Ecosystem erosion control
Erosion control is impacted by the dam reservoir existing upstream the NWRM.
Water quality overall improvements
Positive impact-WQ improvement
Information on Water quality overall improvements
Chloride in time for selected wells in the delta area is used as index to the extent of sea intrusion. This fluctuates in response to the recharge releases and to prolonged periods of extraction without recharge. No deterioration trend is observed.
Soil quality overall soil improvements
Neutral impact-no change in SQ status
Information on Soil quality overall soil improvements
Water is released in the active normally dry riverbed. The fresh water is free of sediments being water stored in reservoir, thus no detrimental effect is noticed on infiltration rate.


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