Groundwater for Human Consumption in Karst Environment: Vulnerability, Protection, and Management

  • A. Jiménez-MadridEmail author
  • R. Gogu
  • C. Martinez-Navarrete
  • F. Carrasco
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 68)


Karst aquifers are an essential source of water supply; therefore the need to protect karst groundwater against the deterioration of its quality due to human activities is unquestionable. For this reason, it is necessary to integrate and reconcile the safeguards of its quality with both socioeconomic activities and land-use planning for a certain region. In this sense, intrinsic vulnerability to pollution is a useful tool to establish protective measures in karst aquifers characterized by their heterogeneity, along with other criteria.

Assessment of intrinsic vulnerability to pollution can help enhance protection of water used for human consumption through quantifying the risk of contamination and spatial zonation of masses of waters. There is a great diversity of existing methods for characterization of intrinsic vulnerability; therefore a comparative analysis of different methods of assessment of the intrinsic vulnerability to pollution has been conducted. This chapter describes the use of several methods (PI, COP, SLV, and PaPRIKa) to assess the intrinsic vulnerability on a karstic aquifer in Spain. Comparison of the different methods enabled assessment of suitability of intrinsic vulnerability to pollution as a method to delimit safeguard areas to protect waters for human consumption.


Groundwater protection Karst Management Spain Vulnerability 



The work has been done in the frame of the VULMOD (new vulnerability assessment by combining mapping with modeling approaches) project, supported by the Executive Agency for Higher Education of the Ministry of National Education, Romania. This work was supported by a grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, CNCS-UEFISCDI, Project number PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-2127.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Jiménez-Madrid
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • R. Gogu
    • 1
  • C. Martinez-Navarrete
    • 3
  • F. Carrasco
    • 4
  1. 1.Groundwater Engineering Research Center, Technical University of Civil Engineering of BucharestBucharestRomania
  2. 2.PROAMB Integrada ConsultorsMalagaSpain
  3. 3.Spanish Geological SurveyMadridSpain
  4. 4.University of MalagaMalagaSpain

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