Understanding and evaluation of water resources is important for sustainable use of water in the future. Due to increasing needs of water resources and changes of climatic conditions, an increasing problem of the water scarcity occurs. For efficient water management planning the knowledge of both, natural characteristics of water sources (geological and structural conditions, climatic characteristics) as well as the impact of human activities on wider area, which can have a significant impact on the quantity and quality of groundwater, is crucial.
A great part of Slovenia characterises carbonate rocks (limestone and dolomite) in which karstic and fractured aquifers occur. Because of their complexity and often inaccessibility, several karstic terrains still have a great potential both for exploration and also exploitation. Such systems are potential reservoirs of high quality water and can be important sources of drinking water in the future. Because these systems are complex, the right methodological approaches are crucial in all stages of investigation; planning, investigating, evaluating and finally use.
The study presents the results of the comprehensive approach of the case study of Učja Valley aquifer. Planned and actually used methods were selected with the aim to understand the water flow and to design the conceptual model of the aquifer. The results showed that the systematic research and combination of methods are essential. Fundamental research presents the geological understanding of the area (geological mapping), which gave the important base and information for further planning of analyses (hydrogeochemistry, trace experiments etc.), and are also crucial for final interpretation. The investigation reveal that proper methodological approach can help to avoid unnecessary additional analyses which would not in themselves provide sufficient data for interpretation or even useless value.