KRASCAVE - Implementation of sustainable groundwater use in the underground karst system of the Krásnohorská jaskyňa Cave

LIFE11 ENV/SK/001023

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Peter Malík
Tel: +421-2-59375416
Fax: +421-2-54771940
Email: peter.malik@geology.sk

Project description:


Slovakian groundwater resources have experienced significant depletions (by as much as 35%) since 1980. The problem is particularly acute in the area of the Slovak Karst. Intensification of agriculture and forestry have played parts in destabilising traditional hydrological systems and led to landscape changes as well as flooding issues that affect important natural heritage sites such as the Domnica Cave. The project focuses on a protected area within the Slovak Karst National Park which includes part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List site at the 'Caves of Slovak Karst and Aggtelek Karst’. It is necessary to introduce preventive measures to protect this sensitive area and to ensure its sustainable development. There is a unique stalactite and stalagmite decoration in the Karst of Krásnohorská Cave but this cave is also the only source of drinking water for local inhabitants. The current approach to exploiting this water source for the commune of Krásnohorská Dlhá Lúka is considered a threat to the long-term sustainability of the stalactite and stalagmite as well as the karst’s other features. The project addresses the identified problems and proposes several measures to protect the water source as well as to enable sustainable development of this sensitive karst region.


The project's objective is to reduce the risk of contamination of a key drinking water source in the ecosystem of the Krásnohorská Cave. This will be achieved through the implementation of innovative activities that contribute to the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) at a local level. The project will also help reduce risks to the fragile karst ecosystem which remains dependent on the quantity and quality of groundwater.

Specific objectives include:

  • A comprehensive assessment of individual components of the underground landscape. This activity will involve: water sampling; quantitative and qualitative monitoring of the water samples; tracing tests using environmental tracers; and field mapping with detailed documentation on 3D maps;
  • Creation of models to record the functionality of groundwater resources as well the interacting factors which affect groundwaters. Such models will be able to illustrate the impact on groundwaters from different scenarios that might occur and influence the project site. During this activity, mathematical modelling of rock/water chemical interaction and interactive rainfall-runoff modelling of the hydrogeological structure will take place;
  • Developing and testing a prototype facility for securing drinking water supplies for the population of the Krásnohorská Dlhá Lúka village and protecting the drinking water from turbidity problems. During this activity a turbidity detection device will be developed to provide an early warning system for controlling the quality of drinking water from karst sources;
  • Delineation of environmentally sensitive sites (‘hot spots’) and drawing up of a set of management rules for individual environmentally sensitive sites. These rules will take account of factors affecting water quality in the vicinity of the Krásnohorská jaskyňa Cave; and
  • Monitoring of the project’s effects on groundwater quality and water use patterns by local community stakeholders.
  • Expected results The envisaged results of the project include in particular:

  • Calibrated computer models of existing and anticipated interactions of biotic and abiotic components of the underground landscape of the Krásnohorská Cave;
  • A functional prototype of a device installed to protect public drinking water supplies from pollution problems caused by turbidity;
  • Delineation of environmentally sensitive sites (’hot spots’) accompanied by introduction of management arrangements to safeguard the hot spots’ long-term environmental integrity; and
  • An increased awareness among local and other stakeholders about the project’s relevance, actions and results.



Environmental issues addressed:


Habitats - Rocky and Caves
Land-use & Planning - Sensitive and protected areas management
Water - Water resources protection


groundwater‚  risk management‚  water resources management‚  protected area‚  drinking water‚  pollution prevention

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Statny geologicky ustav Dionyza Stura Bratislava
Type of organisation Research institution
Description The State Geological Institute of Dionyz Stur is a public sector body with an environmental mandate that includes coverage of groundwaters, thermal waters, medical and mineral waters.
Partners OZ Speleoklub Minotaurus Roznava, Slovakia OZ Envi Slovakia Bratislava, Slovakia Katedra hydrogeologie PriF UK Bratislava (Faculty of Science, University Komensky), Slovakia


Project reference LIFE11 ENV/SK/001023
Duration 01-JUN-2012 to 31-DEC -2018
Total budget 1,244,326.00 €
EU contribution 613,238.00 €
Project location Vychodne Slovensko(Slovakia Slovensko)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version