Identification of reference conditions in lake water bodies according to the Programme of Measures (Measure 142) and update of the classification of the water body types according to the provisions of the WFD 2013-2015 (Tender # 06/2013, WDD)

26 months (November 2013 – December 2015)

Funded by:    
Water Development Department (Republic of Cyprus)

Project partners:
Marine & Environmental Research (MER) Lab Ltd, Cyprus
Professor Dr Maria Moustaka-Gouni – Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Department of Biology), Greece
Dr Matina Katsiapi – Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Department of Biology), Greece

Project Description:
This project funded by the Water Development Department, started in November of 2013, with collaborations from the Department of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

The project aimed to identify reference conditions, according to the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) 2000/60/EU in the following natural water bodies around the island of Cyprus:

    • Larnaca main salt lake
    • Larnaca airport lake
    • Lake Soros (Larnaca)
    • Lake Orfani (Larnaca)
    • Akrotiri salt lake (Limassol)
    • Paralimni lake (Famagusta)
    • Oroklini lake (Larnaca)
    • Achna reservoir (Larnaca) – the only artificial water body.


The need for identifying the reference conditions in the surface waters, derives from the implementation of the WFD and specifically, the application of the Programme of Measures of the River Basin Management Plan.

In addition, beyond the determination of reference conditions the project aims to explore the possibility of updating the classification of types of lakesincluding the characterization of Lake Oroklini, which until today does not consist a lake surface water body, in accordance with the WFD.

Biological, hydromorphological and physicochemical quality elements were examined and suggestions were proved for future monitoring plans. Some biological quality elements (BQEs) that were examined using both bibliography and sampling in the examined water bodies, were: (1) phytoplankton composition, abundance, biomass and chlorophyll a, (2) macrophyte composition and abundance, (3) benthic macroinvertebrate composition and abundance, (4) fish composition, abundance and distribution by age. Zooplankton another important BQE was examined, in order to achieve the best ecological assessment of the specific waterbodies. Every BQE sampling was accompanied with hydromorphological, as well as physicochemical data (temperature, pH, concentrations of: NO3, NO2, NH4+, PO43-, TN, and TP).