Lim Aquifer - 111

Montenegro - Serbia

Aquifer type 1

State border follows surface water catchment and groundwater divide, little transboundary groundwater flow.

The Lim Aquifer is made up of Triassic karstic limestone and dolomite (main aquifer), covered by mostly impermeable diabase-chert formation, limited fissured aquifer in peridotites and in Triassic clastic rocks, Quaternary alluvium; medium connection to surface water. Groundwater flow direction is relatively equally shared in both countries; perpendicular to the Lim valley in the karstic aquifer, and parallel to the stream in the alluvium.

Karstic-fissured part: Recharge in the mountains and drainage along the foothill or on local impermeable barriers; Porous part: Recharge from precipitation and rivers, drainage into rivers.

The covering layer constitutes of a thin soil layer in the mountain-hilly area, and thick and fertile soil in the Lim valley. The depth of groundwater levels are at >100 m in karstic aquifers, and at 2-5 m in the alluvium. Pressure condition: unconfined.

Groundwater resources amount to ~ 35 × 106 cu m/year (average for the years 1980 to 2000).

Lim Aquifer
Area (sq. km) N/A 600 – 800 (of which ~150 karstic aquifers)
Thickness: mean, max (m) 200, 500 200, 500
Groundwater uses and functions <25% of the total abstraction is for agriculture. Total annual abstraction is some 10 × 106
m3 (2007), most of it (60%) for domestic
use, 12% for agriculture, 12% for industry,
10% for energy and 6 for other. Some 40%
of total water use from groundwater.
Pressure factors Untreated urban wastewater, inappropriate
waste disposal, industry (illegal discharges
of untreated wastewater may pose a threat
to the groundwater quality - this has to be
evaluated) and rather intensive mining. Local
but severe nitrogen, heavy metals, pathogens,
industrial organic and hydrocarbons pollution
of surface water and groundwater is possible.
Groundwater management measures Abstraction management, protection zones and
vulnerability mapping for land use planning
need to be applied, together with monitoring
of groundwater quantity and quality.
Other information Population ∼100 000. Current status is most
probably good (limited data). Quality of
groundwater in alluvium and terrace deposits
along Lim River valley and downstream in
Prijepolje plain is under risk; water reserves
are estimated to be sufficient to sustain
medium and long term projected development
in the area - nevertheless, possible longer
dry episodes as a consequence of climate
change may have a negative impact on the
recharge of the karstic aquifer, Pollution of
Lim River occurring at the upper catchment
area has impacts at transboundary level. Great
potential for hydropower development; 6
hydropower plants with total capacity of more
than 50 MW are planned to be constructed
in the Lim valley (an environmental impact
assessment will be prepared prior to their
construction). Systematic joint monitoring at
transboundary level, that will assist to assess
the qualitative and quantitative status of the
surface and groundwater resources as well as in
management planning, should be established
along the Lim valley. Common efforts towards
environmental protection should be crystallized
in a joint strategy. By 2025, groundwater
abstraction is expected to increase by ∼20%.
Some 35% of the aquifer area is covered by
forest, another 35% by grassland, 20% by
cropland and 10% by urban/industrial areas.