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Integrated management of karstic waters – A case study of the Zlatibor mountain massif, Serbia

Paper Topic: 
Water Resources Management

Pages :
717 - 731

Corresponing Author: 
Vranjes A.
Milenic D. Milankovic Dj. Petric M. Savic N.
Paper ID: 
Paper Status: 
Date Paper Accepted: 
Paper online: 

The Zlatibor mountain massif has significantly changed for the past 20 years due to the  development of tourism, which has resulted in an increase in water consumption and environmental threats. This area abounds in considerable surface and groundwater resources, which are not utilised adequately. Surface water characterized by lower quality and unstable regimes was utilised for water supply, while groundwater with better qualitative properties was utilised in a small percentage. A number of significant and gradually developing problems are the direct consequence of this concept of water resource utilisation. So far, water supply of central settlements has been based on the concept of the utilisation of surface water from the Zlatibor reservoir which was built in the year 1972, nowadays being filled up above the designed level, while the centralized water supply of other settlements has not been adequately solved generally. Previous research has indicated that this area is characterized by karstic groundwater reserves of regional character, and in most cases they are not adequately utilised, which has opened the possibility of their proper utilisation and the change to a new concept of water management in the area of Zlatibor.

A new concept of water management implies the utilisation of karstic water, primarily, to resolve the public water supply issue. In the future, a number of benefits such as: resolving of centralized water supply issues, reduction of surface water pollution, creating opportunities for the utilisation of surface water for other purposes, creating new tourist zones, reduction of environmental pollution, improvement of the general welfare of the population, etc., will be achieved by this concept. From the aforesaid, it can be concluded that a number of interconnected and integrated benefits will be gained by full implementation of the new concept of karst water utilisation. The application of the concept designed in this way, ultimately implies the establishment of an integrated management of all karst water in the area of Zlatibor. In order to achieve this goal, it is necessary, primarily, to solve the problem of adequate public water supply by karstic groundwater, which implies the establishment of integrated karstic water management in this area, and that is the focus of this paper.


Integrated water management, karst, water supply, Zlatibor