KaraWAT Project Conclusion

Fotocredit: FH Kärnten
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Management of Conservation Areas MSc

On the 31st of August we successfully completed the INTERREG VA SI-AT project KaraWAT

Over the past 20 months the Geological Survey of Slovenia, the transboundary EGTC Geopark Karawanken mbH and Carinthia University of Applied Sciences worked out activities aiming to protect water resources in the Karawanken / Karavanke UNESCO Global Geopark for their sustainable use.

The main output of the project is a sustainable water management strategy and action plan for the nine Austrian and five Slovenian partner municipalities of the geopark. The trilingual geopark web viewer (https://geopark-karawanken-waters.eu/) was developed within the frame of this project. It gives a single-entry point for geospatial data from Austria and Slovenia, building on the technical basis for implementation of the strategy.

To investigate the transboundary water aquifer of Peca / Petzen mountain three monitoring sites were installed at karstic water springs. Water quality data are publicly available on the following dashboard: https://geopark-karawanken-waters.eu/dashboard/en-GB/home. For the municipality of Ravne na Koroškem a hydrogeological map was created, and investigations of around 70 springs were carried out. We also had a close look at the role of forests for the water cycle, and investigated how forest management can support ecosystem services, like protection from natural disasters and provision of good quality drinking water. A list of recommendations for forest managers and possibilities for funding are summarised in a final report (in German): https://www.geopark-karawanken.at/karawat/.

To raise awareness on the importance of water resources within the Karawanken / Karavanke Geopark we developed an augmented reality model explaining the “waterworld” of the Petzen / Peca mountain. Visitors of the Geo.Dom will be able to follow the path of a water drop from its genesis in the clouds to its emergence at one of the numerous karstic springs at the bottom of the mountain. In addition, we worked on concepts for the valorisation of mineral water springs in the municipality of Eisenkappel. To support sustainable tourism, we created new signs for the municipality, explaining the special features of nine mineral water springs, that will be placed next to the spring’s sights.