Managing Karst Aquifers—Conceptualizations, Solutions, Impacts


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Publication Date

February 2015


This is an introductory chapter to the third chapter of the guidebook in which three major groups of problems and experiences obtained from practical engineering works dealing with karst are included: 1. Watering—Effective utilization of karstic water resources for drinking water supply and other purposes; 2. Dewatering—Mitigation of karst inflow in mining, urban areas, dams or other construction works; and 3. Protecting – Prevention of pollution and remediation of karst water quality. The chapter provides an overview recommended as a common engineering approach to the definition of problems, the required conceptualization of and research into aquifers, possible solutions and alternatives, and finally optimization, implementation and assessment of any environmental impact this engineering work may have. The sections Problem definition and research procedure and Kinds of hydrogeological surveys (Reconnaissance survey; Basic survey; Detail survey; Monitoring) aim to help less experienced researchers organize their scientific and engineering works and evaluate circumstances and conditions for successful project results. The largest part is dedicated to the section Environmental implications of the engineering works in karst. Living in a time when almost every technical solution should conform to environmental conditions requires from engineers the exclusive application of sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions. Several case studies are also included in this part. They consider proposals on how to utilize unconfined, confined and littoral karst aquifers as well as how to organize dewatering of mines and prevent leakage from open water reservoirs. The content of the Environmental impact assessment study, dealing with limitations in groundwater extractions and indicators. which should be closely monitored to assess impact on environment, is also put forth. Some of these indicators may also help in assessment of pressures on groundwater quantity and quality.


Problem-Solution, Conceptual Model, Engineering Approach, Environmental Implications, Impact Assessment