Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Development and application of method for quantity and quality assessment of ground water resources in karst

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.06.07  Natural sciences and mathematics  Geology  Natural resources (mineral and energy raw materials, water) 

Code Science Field
P005  Natural sciences and mathematics  Geology, physical geography 

Code Science Field
1.05  Natural Sciences  Earth and related Environmental sciences 
Karst, water resources, hydrogeological model
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (22)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  37554  PhD Matej Blatnik  Geography  Junior researcher  2016 - 2018  196 
2.  17548  Leon Drame    Technical associate  2016 - 2019  47 
3.  17549  Franjo Drole    Technical associate  2016 - 2019  105 
4.  16180  PhD Franci Gabrovšek  Mechanics  Head  2016 - 2019  450 
5.  51174  PhD Vanessa Elizabeth Johnston  Geology  Researcher  2018 - 2019  40 
6.  11067  PhD Martin Knez  Geography  Researcher  2016 - 2019  696 
7.  38269  PhD Blaž Kogovšek  Geography  Junior researcher  2016 - 2019  114 
8.  36395  PhD Peter Kozel  Biology  Researcher  2016 - 2017  68 
9.  28436  PhD Simona Kralj Fišer  Biology  Researcher  2018 - 2019  173 
10.  09652  PhD Andrej Mihevc  Geography  Researcher  2016 - 2019  793 
11.  20220  PhD Janez Mulec  Biology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  479 
12.  14851  PhD Bojan Otoničar  Geology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  255 
13.  12605  PhD Metka Petrič  Geology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  524 
14.  15687  PhD Tanja Pipan  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2016 - 2019  384 
15.  08099  PhD Tadej Slabe  Geography  Researcher  2016 - 2019  682 
16.  10443  PhD Stanka Šebela  Geology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  520 
17.  24093  Martin Tilen Tancar  Geology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  349 
18.  05511  PhD Marija Ulrich-Supovec  Geology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  114 
19.  22574  PhD Nataša Viršek Ravbar  Geography  Researcher  2016 - 2019  473 
20.  15886  PhD Goran Vižintin  Mining and geotechnology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  485 
21.  17552  Mateja Zadel    Technical associate  2016 - 2019 
22.  01004  PhD Nadja Zupan Hajna  Geography  Researcher  2016 - 2019  476 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  61,885 
2.  3284  HGEM d.o.o. Hidrogeologija, geotehnologija, ekologija in monitoring (Slovene)  Ljubljana  1715771  1,058 
Karst aquifers are abundant, but vulnerable water resources. The communities supplied by the fresh water from karst aquifers are therefore under a constant threat of shortage of water quantity and quality, particularly if they rely on a single source. Such is the case of Postojna and Pivka municipalities in Slovenia, where several shortages occurred during last few years. This project aims at setting new standards in search, protection and use of reliable water resources in karst areas. Initially all potential aquifer systems in the area will be characterised. The characterisation will be based on geological, speleological, hydrogeological, geochemical, microbiological field work. Acquired data and results will be merged with the existing ones into a comprehensive database, that will be linked to a 3D hydrogeological model which will be a clear and interpretative visualisation of all elements relevant for groundwater flow and transport in a selected area. These include position and geometry of geological formations and structures, known and expected speleological objects, position and dynamics of the water table, transport properties inferred from tracing studies and chemical analysis, potential contaminant sources etc. Hydrodynamics on a local scale will also be studied with the digital models of groundwater flow. The broader study will be narrowed and intensified to the two most promising water sources. There, additional field work will include detailed mapping and observation as well as realisation of exploration well, where pumping tests and well logs will be made. Finally, delineation of source protection zones and design of vulnerability maps will provide base for eventual protection. The broader outreach of the project is a general strategy, which aims to set standard methods and techniques to identify, characterise, protect and use potential karst water resources.
Significance for science
Water availability and its quality are crucial for human well-being and ecosystems. These issues are especially relevant in karst aquifers as areas of Earth's Critical Zones. Due to the particularities of groundwater flow in karst aquifers these are extremely vulnerable to pollution. Therefore hydrological and karstological research is receiving an increasing attention of scientific communities worldwide.   Understanding, analysis and characterizing of karst aquifers’ hydrological behaviour is crucial to prepare proper management strategies of karst water resources. In this project new approaches will be used for the collection, assessment and thorough analysis of a karst aquifer chracteristics that will enable: A better understanding of its structure and functioning; Assessment of distribution and volume of water reserves; Forecasting the dynamics of groundwater flow and transport processes in karst and Identification, characterization of an alternative (back-up) water source and propdosal of its management.   Within the project a new method for quantity and quality assessment of water sources in karst will be developed and applied. The key element will be advancement of a 3D hydrogeological model with numerical hydrological model that will give new, innovative solutions. The model will deeply profound our understanding of distribution and volume of water resources in karst. Among other results, the model will enable to predict the dynamics of water flow and mass transfer in karst, enable identification and characterization of an alternative water source and its protection.   The proposed project follows the national research and development programme. Its results will contribute to increased competitiveness and innovativeness of Slovenia in the scientific fields of hydrogeology and karstology. What is more, the state will get additional knowledge on sustainable use of karst water resources.   Additionally, the development and application of the proposed method will contribute to international research activities linked to this topic. It will represent a foundation for all further, more specific research and professional discussions connected to the growing problem of drinking water assurance. On the other hand, the project will follow research orientations abroad and contribute to shaping and disseminating new findings in European and global science. The findings (as well as the research concept and methodology) will be especially relevant for societies that, like Slovenia, are rich in karst water resources but lack appropriate water resources exploitation and management.   The web page will offer insights into the project results and access to data which will be available to others interested in karst hydrogeology. Interactive database of gained results will be available for further research. The results will also be published in renowned scientific journals. We expect that access to such data will also attract the attention of foreign institutions for further international cooperation projects.
Significance for the country
Primarily, the project goals follow the guidelines of the Regional development programme of the Primorska-Notranjska region for the period 2014-2020. A high public interest is assured as the results are important for a general improvement of the quality of life.  Findings will be directly available to the co-financers, and useful also for public administration, especially for the services responsible for spatial planning at the local and state level (Ministries, Municipalities). At the regional level, the results will bring new knowledge about hydrogeological characteristics of the study area and provide an alternative (back-up) water source for more than 20,000 inhabitants. We expect to include the method in the contemporary standards and conditions of water management at the national level.  Additionally, the proposed project is highly important for the three involved partners. The funding will enable research and technological development for the research oriented HGEM ltd. and Karst Research Institute (KRI). In time of an economic crisis it is of an utmost importance for both institutions to keep in touch with hi-tech projects as these are the important assurance for survival, especially for HGEM as a private company that depends on projects. Both institutions have so far successfully took part in projects on the market as well as collaborated in European and national applied projects. The Kovod, a water supply company, is highly interested in the project results due to the problems with water quality in its drinking water source in the region. They will co-finance the project and offer the best possible conditions for the research work within their premises. In exchange Kovod will benefit in research results and conclusions. The results are extremely important for the citizens of Municipalities of Postojna and Pivka, because improved conditions of water supply means higher quality of life. The idea of the workshop is deeper involvement of citizens in the process of water resources protection, mostly in a sense of raising awareness on high vulnerability of karst aquifers. The key question will be how can each individual contribute to improvement of the water quality?
Most important scientific results Interim report, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Interim report, final report
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