There is no doubt that the valley thrived because of the availability of water and also due to  Fokasa copper mine. The importance of the valley was such that the terminal of the railway line joining Famagusta-Nicosia-Skouriotissamines went up to Evrychou village halfway up the valley to carry goods and people. The railway was established in 1915 but was abandoned in 1951 as been unprofitable but the Evrychou station has been restored to a museum recently.

However, what was a privilege and an asset in the old times became a drawback with modernisation: The government embarked on massive schemes of dam building and large irrigation works after the Turkish invasion of 1974 with projects such as Southern Conveyor, Paphos, Khrysochou. These benefited mostly people who had no experience in irrigated agriculture or people who had depleted their aquifers such as Kokkinochoria in the southeast. The Solea valley was studied repeatedly but its development through the ages prevented the construction of a dam that would drown villages or valuable cultivated area. Some grandiose schemes that would utilise the rivers of the northern slopes of Troodos mountains including Karkotis river collapsed for economic or political reasons.

The people of the region always protested and demanded a modern system that would allow them to have road access to their fields and irrigate with pressurised systems at reasonable hours. The only ones who were satisfied with the existing scheme of open channels were those who run the irrigation divisions.

                    Image courtesy of Hydria Virtual Museum
Irrigation areas in Solea Valley from the feasibility study of Karkotis Project, 1987. The dam sites shown have been rejected

Hydria Virtual Museum

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