Tara Massif Aquifer - 112

Serbia - Bosnia and Herzegovina

Aquifer type 3

State border follows major river or lake, alluvial aquifer connected to river, little transboundary flow.

The Tara Massif Aquifer is made up of Triassic and Jurassic karstified limestones with strong links to surface water systems.Groundwater flows from Serbia to Bosnia and Herzegovina (generally
perpendicular to Drina River).

The recharge area is estimated at 75-80 sq. km, while the discharge area is well defined and present as major karst springs (Perucac spring, and one submerged spring in artificial reservoir of Bajina Basta reversible hydropower plant). Depth of groundwater levels varies from 100 to over 300 m. Pressure condition: Unconfined.

According to Serbia groundwater resources of Tara Massif amount to 4.47 × 106 cu m/year. Groundwater covers 10% of the water being used in the Serbian part.

Tara Massif AquiferMontenegroSerbia
Area (sq. km) 211 >100
Thickness: mean, max (m) 250 – 300, 600 250 – 300, 600
Groundwater uses and functions 80% of groundwater for drinking purposes, 10% for
irrigated agriculture; also supports fish breeding and
ecosystems. Total water withdrawals were 6 × 106 m3/
year in 2008 (not taking into account water used for
hydropower generation; the figure corresponding to
total water withdrawals is 1.15 × 109 cu m/year).
Drinking water, mostly small amounts for supplying villages.
Pressure factors Hydropower (Bajina Basta reversible hydropower plant
system - including two reservoirs located at the top of
the Tara plateau); intensive tourism activities at zones
that are highly vulnerable to pollution; lack of sewage
collection and treatment facilities (apart from a small
wastewater facility treating wastewater in a touristic
area); partially uncontrolled dumpsites. Moderate to
strong environmental impacts (related to the Bajina
Basta reversible hydropower plant system). Issues related
to intensive tourism activities at zones that are highly
vulnerable to pollution; continuous bacterial pollution
due to leakage of septic tanks; potential pollution from
uncontrolled dumpsites; accidental pollution (road).
Wastewater, mining activity. Local moderate drawing
of polluted water into the aquifer. Bacteriological
contamination is a quality problem.
Groundwater management measures Groundwater abstraction management and quantity
monitoring in use needs improvement. Assessment
of the vulnerability of karst groundwater is necessary
as a basic tool for groundwater protection and
development planning in an area that is almost entirely
(91%) a National Park; establishment of an integrated
monitoring system is essential in this regard.
Protection zones needed for some significant
but as yet unused karst springs.
Other information Estimated reserves of groundwater can sustain drinking
water supply and further economic development,
particularly with regard to fish breeding, tourism and
some minor hydropower generation. Population density
ranges from 1 to 5 inhabitants/sq. km. No transboundary
impact reported. Controlled quarrying in the area has
relatively negative impacts. Some 80% of the land
use is forest, 15% grassland, cropland and urban area
each <5%. Population density 1-5 inhabitants/sq. km.
No transboundary impact.
Negligible conditions for nomination as a transboundary groundwater.