Kouris Dam

Coordinates: 34°43′40″N 32°55′5″E / 34.72778°N 32.91806°E / 34.72778; 32.91806
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Kouris Dam
Kouris dam in 2012
Official nameKouris Dam (Φράγμα Κούρη)
LocationLimassol District, Cyprus
Coordinates34°43′40″N 32°55′5″E / 34.72778°N 32.91806°E / 34.72778; 32.91806
Construction beganSept 1, 1984
Opening date1988
Operator(s)Cyprus Water Board
Dam and spillways
ImpoundsRiver Kouris
Height110 m
Total capacity115,000,000 m3
Surface area3.6 km3
Current storage level [1]

Kouris Dam, Greek: Φράγμα Κούρη, is the largest dam of a network of 107 dams in Cyprus.[1] It is in the Limassol District and is fed by the Kouris River along with other smaller watercourses including the Diarizos River which has its water diverted to Kouris Dam via an underground pipeline.


The dam lies at an altitude of 250 metres (820 ft) and collects the water delivered by the rivers Kouris, Limnatis and Kryos. Furthermore, water from Diarizos River is diverted to Kouris Dam via a 14.5 kilometres (9 mi) long connecting tunnel. It has an overall catchment area of 300 kilometres (190 mi)2.[2] The dam is located 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) northwest of the city of Limassol and 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) west of the village of Ypsonas. For its construction the whole village of Alassa had to be relocated to a nearby site overlooking the reservoir (between the Kouris and Limnatis valleys) at a cost of around CYP£5,000,000.[3][4]

Its construction was opposed by environmental groups concerned about the effects of water diversion on the Limassol Salt Lake, a wetland located downstream to the rivers and used by migratory birds.[5] The dam is part of the Southern Conveyor Project, which carries water from the SW side of Cyprus to the SE part of the island, over a distance of 120 km. The dam has a central clay core zoned earthfill embankment with a height of 110m and a crest length of approximately 550 metres providing a water storage volume of 115 million cubic metres.[6]

The construction of the dam was first proposed by the Cyprus Water Development board in 1968. Following several feasibility studies the French engineering company Sogreah[7] completed the detailed design in 1981. The contract for its construction was awarded in January 1984 to a consortium comprising J&P construction and Impregilo of Italy.

The construction cost amounted to CYP £29,000,000. Part of the funding came from the European Investment Bank.[8] Construction was completed in September 1988. It was officially inaugurated by the then president, George Vassiliou, on 22 April 1989.

Since its construction it has overflowed three times: on March 4, 2004, [9] on April 6, 2012,[10][11] and on January 7, 2020.[12]

In popular culture[edit]

In 2008, rumours held that a crocodile or other large reptile was swimming in the dam, leading to humorous references to a "Cyprus Loch Ness Monster." Local community leaders authorized a search but did not find such a creature.[13]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Psyllides, George (August 14, 2007). "Officials say Cyprus' water reserves dangerously low, could drop further if drought holds". International Herald Tribune. The Associated Press. Retrieved 2007-08-20.
  2. ^ Boronina, Anastasia; Philippe Renard; Werner Balderer; Andreas Christodoulides (10 February 2003). "Groundwater resources in the Kouris catchment (Cyprus): data analysis and numerical modelling" (PDF). Journal of Hydrology. 271 (1–4): 130–149. Bibcode:2003JHyd..271..130B. doi:10.1016/S0022-1694(02)00322-0.
  3. ^ "Annual Report". Auditor General of The Republic of Cyprus. 2002. Archived from the original (.doc) on 2019-03-31. Retrieved 2007-01-26.
  4. ^ "A dam good idea". Cyprus Mail. July 16, 2004. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-26.
  5. ^ Ramsar mission to Cyprus, point 14 Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Cyprus Water Board, Information on the Southern Conveyor Project". Archived from the original on 2012-02-06. Retrieved 2007-01-20.
  7. ^ Sogreah website[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ EC Delegation to Cyprus Archived 2006-11-11 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Largest dam overflows for the first time (Cyprus Mail archive article - Friday, March 5, 2004) "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved January 20, 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Kouris overflows (Cyprus Mail article - Friday, April 8, 2012) "Kouris overflows - Cyprus Mail". Archived from the original on April 9, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  11. ^ "Kouris overflows". www.incyprus.com.cy. Archived from the original on 5 January 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  12. ^ Andreou, Evie (2020-01-08). "All-time record as dam after dam overflows in January (Update 2-video)". CyprusMail. Archived from the original on 2021-09-28.
  13. ^ Alethea Reynolds (28 October 2008). "Cyprus officials search for mystery 'monster'". Famagusta Gazette. Archived from the original on 15 August 2011.