The study area of Kiti – Perivolia is situated in the southern part of Cyprus and covers an area of 40 km2. The whole area is characterized by semi-arid conditions, with a mean annual precipitation of 331 mm and a mean annual temperature of 19.9°C. The area below the dam is characterized by a low relief (0m – 60m), smooth terrain, gently dipping to the south-southeast, towards the sea and the salt lakes. The slope increases above the dam where elevation reaches up to 160 m.
The studied aquifer is phreatic, and it develops in alluvial sediments and marine terraces with the Paleogene chalks and marls acting as the impervious base of the aquifer. Groundwater is recharged through the dam, Tremithos river bed infiltration and from precipitation and return irrigation. The most productive parts of the aquifer are located in the areas of Kiti, Perivolia and Meneou villages (Southeast part of the aquifer) where the aquifer thickness ranges between 20 and 45 meters. The two dominant land use types are agricultural and urban. In total, 1,206 hectares are irrigated in Kiti, Perivolia and Meneou villages in order to meet the agricultural needs of the area.
The Water Development Department (WDD) of Cyprus estimates current annual groundwater pumping around 2.8 Mm3, thus resulting to a negative water balance. The less productive parts are depleted, and borehole yields have dropped dramatically. The area is affected by both point and diffuse pollution sources potentially deteriorating groundwater quality. Sea water intrusion and nitrate pollution are the main pressures on Kiti-Perivolia groundwater quality status. As a result, within the framework of Water Framework Directive implementation for the period 2007-2015, the aquifer has been declared as a nitrate Vulnerable Zone since 2008 under the Nitrates Directive 91/676/EEC.