Krka River basin

The river has its source in Croatia and discharges into the Adriatic Sea in Croatia. The basin has a pronounced mountainous character, with an average elevation of about 100 m a.s.l. The National Park “Krka” covers 4.5% of the basin area.

Hydrology and hydrogeology

A major transboundary tributary is the river Butišnica. Major lakes are Lake Brljan (man-made), Lake Golubić (man-made), Lake Visovac (natural), and Lake Prokljan (natural). There are three hydropower stations located on the Krka, and two located on the Butišnica and Krčić tributaries. Hydrogeologically, the basin of the upper course of the Krka River around the town of Knin and the Kosovo Polje valley is mostly made up of impermeable and poorly permeable deposits, less vulnerable to pollution transport.

Pressures, status and transboundary impacts

The main forms of land use include grasslands (44%), forests (30%) and cropland (15%). In the Croatian part of the basin, some 6% of the area is under protection. Industry uses 27% of the water from the public water supply systems, and the urban sector, 73%. The pressure from agriculture is insignificant as agricultural production of fruits, vegetables and olives is still low, as is animal husbandry. However, production is slowly increasing, which in turn may lead to increasing pressure and transboundary impact. Sustainable agriculture and technological development are necessary.
There are 18 small sites for stone and alabaster excavation. The intensity of exploitation and the number of sites are slowly increasing. Intensive aluminium production and shipyards are located in the coastal area. Other industry sectors are less intensive, and have not recovered after the war. They are mostly connected to the sewer systems. The number of industrial zones is rapidly increasing, but all are required by law to have adequate wastewater treatment, or to be connected to municipal wastewater treatment plants. There are still unfinished sewerage systems and untreated urban wastewaters from Knin (40,000 p.e.) and Drniš (10,000 p.e.) towns. The three controlled dumping sites do not cause significant impact; however, there are also several small illegal dumpsites. The generally good chemical status of groundwater in the Krka River basin indicates insignificant salinization and seawater intrusion. Storm waters from highways are treated by oil-separators and disposed of underground or discharged into rivers. However, treated waters cannot be disposed of underground in the vicinity of water abstraction sites (sanitary protection zones). The water bodies mostly have a “good” ecological status. The surface waters in the National Park “Krka” have a “moderate” status,
because of the ecological requirements of the National Park for high water quality, and the untreated urban wastewater discharges from Drniš and Knin, which are located upstream. Phosphorus concentrations have increased in some areas, but not significantly. BOD and COD have increased, particularly in the vicinity of Knin. The area of the port of Šibenik is extremely eutrophic. Reduced springflow in Bosnia and Herzegovina results in ecosystem degradation; nevertheless the Krka aquifer is not at risk. Responses and trends Croatia has partly transposed the WFD into its legal framework. A river basin management plan (in accordance to the WFD) has been developed for the Krka river basin, being a pilot for the country. There was an oil spill into the Orašnica River in Knin in 2007. A pollution risk is posed by a petrol station constructed on a flood plain in the vicinity of Knin. Croatia reported that investments in flood protection facilities, and hydro-amelioration systems in general, are required. The tourism sector has developed favourably in the past years, and the capacity to receive tourists is planned to increase.

Krka River Basin Aquifers

Krka Aquifer - 129