The SMART KIA project is a new collaboration between the KIOS Center of Excellence (KIOS CoE) and the Water Development Department (WDD) of the Cyprus Ministry of Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment. The Water Development Department is the governmental organization for water resource management in Cyprus. Its main goal is the sustainable and rational management of the island’s water resources to address water scarcity and droughts which are causing serious deficits in the water supply. Currently, the average annual rainfall in Cyprus is 460mm and the average of potentially usable annual water reserves is 370 million m3. The limited water resources in relation with the increased need for good quality water supply for both drinking water and irrigation, coupled with the continuous climate change and the reduction of rainfall, make efficient water management an issue of crucial importance.
The project, which is being delivered within the Innovation Hub of the KIOS CoE, will support the WDD’s objective for optimal management of supplied water for irrigation purposes by investigating the application of innovative technologies in the existing Government-led initiatives to advance the management of water distribution in irrigation (Irrigation Scheme). The project focuses on the Kokkinokhoria Irrigation Area (KIA) spanning across the Larnaca and Ammochostos Districts. The priority of the WDD is to develop specialized smart algorithms that utilize the existing infrastructure (e.g., interconnection of the existing GIS software, Telemetry, Asset Management, Operation & Maintenance of Networks & Equipment, Water Invoicing System (WIS), etc.) and monitor the water consumption, in order to optimize both the operation of the irrigation network, as well as the services provided to the farmers located within the KIA.
The primary aim of this WDD led initiative is to support the rural development as well as to improve the economic and environmental performance of the existing infrastructure of the KIA scheme. It is foreseen that this will be the first of many collaborative projects in order to provide the necessary conditions for smart and sustainable development of the agriculture in Cyprus.