KArst waTER research programme
Start date: Dec 31, 2002,
End date: Dec 30, 2006
In many countries of CADSES karstic areas are important and acutely essential for public water supply. These areas are at the same time highly sensitive and valuable natural environments. Conversely, exploitation pressure on these areas is increasing. This mainly relates to such fields as tourism, settlements, transport infrastructure, forestry and pasture management. The project aims at safeguarding water supply and the required, largely natural conditions of the catchment areas. The conflicts between often incompatible land-use activities by necessity lead to effects of high relevance for regional planning. To facilitate and optimise the decision-making process relating to the problems of land use/water management/environmental protection, it seems useful to develop and implement a decision support system. This work is based on the scientific and methodological considerations derived from the results of the KATER project. The collection of data documenting the natural environment calls for the well-considered design of both data collection and measuring-station set-up. Optimising the data collection process is a key output of the project. This will be determined for the karst aquifers situated in the project territories and will be simultaneously transferable to other areas. The development of the decision support system will be based on the software developed for the KATER project (metadata and presentation tools) and will be handled by the individual project partners. Another central factor for the success of the project, but also for coping with the problems covered by it, With the help of the project the level of awareness both amongst the public at large and amongst selected target groups should raise. The relevant activities derived from the project therefore do not merely address the public at large, but also, and in particular, the competent political decision-makers, scientists, regional planners, water supply companies and administrators (conference), students and university teachers (excursions) as well as schoolchildren and their teachers ("weeks in the country"). Achievements: Among others, KATER II has delivered the following publications and public relations activities: Publications: Karst Phenomena in Veneto Region, Hydrogeological Map of Sette Comuni Plateau (Regione del Veneto, Giunta Regionale, Italian and English); Celico F., Musilli, I., Varcamonti M., Naclerio G. (2005), Microbial groundwater pollution in Italian carbonate aquifers, Giornale di Geologia, 1. Köck R., Hochbichler E., Effects of pasture abandonment on subalpine plant species diversity, Journal of Vegetation Science. Public relations activities: - KATER II and the first transnational university excursion, September 2004: 38 students participated in an excursion through all partners' pilot areas for nine days, - "Weeks in the Country (Ecocamp Hochschwab)": 50 pupils experienced a week in the catchment areas of the Viennese water supply and learned by doing in the field about the goals of KATER II.
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