Božidar Biondić, Ph.D., Prof. emeritus of the University of Zagreb, until his retirement, was the professor of hydrogeology and engineering geology at the Faculty of Geotechnical Engineering. He was also the scientific advisor at the Croatian Geological Survey, where he was for a long time the Head of the Department of Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology, and from 1996 to 2000 the Director of the Croatian Geological Survey. In more than 45 years of experience, he has mostly been working on hydrogeological projects in Dinaric karst, especially on finding new sources of drinking water, water resources protection, remediation of sea water intrusions in coastal karst aquifers, different types of studies and others. In two cases, he worked as consulting engineer for explorations of dam projects in Iran and the cement factory in Mexico. The result of years of research activity in Dinaric karst was actively participating in the studies of the IAH Karst Commission and the proposal of the EU COST project on the water protection of karst aquifers with the participation of 17 European countries. During his scientific activities he was author or co-author of more than 110 scientific papers published in scientific journals, books and proceedings of international and national scientific conferences. Particularly noteworthy is the book “Hydrogeology of Dinaric Karst in Croatia”, issued as a textbook at the University of Zagreb in 2014. From 1998 to 2011, he was the Croatian national coordinator for EU COST projects and member of COST Senior Officials Board in Brussels. He was one of the founders of the IAH National Group of Croatia as a part of the Croatian Geological Society, of which he was the president in the period from 1996 to 2000. Thanks to active participation in the EU COST projects, he was included in the international research activities organized by the Government Waterpool of the Republic of Austria as the head of the international project for the protection of water resources in the National Park Plitvice Lakes in Croatia. He was the member of the American Institute of Hydrology for more than 10 years. He actively participated in the organization of the First and Second Croatian Geological Congresses, as the president of the scientific and organizing committees. He is the member of the Croatian Academy of Engineering.
Water resources of Dinaric karst areas in Croatia
Dinaric karst water resources in Croatia have a great importance for the development of the country because nearly half of the onshore part of the country is built of the great mass of carbonate rocks formed on one of the platforms in the zone of subduction between African and Euroasian tectonic plates. Dinarides, stretching from southern parts of the Alps over Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina to Montenegro, are creating a unique megastructure of uniform geologic characteristics. Origin, geological and tectonic events, erosion processes and sea level changes have caused the development of karst processes of intensively fractured carbonate rocks and specific surface and underground network of water flows. This is an area rich in rainfall and aquifers, from which are supplied numerous towns and villages in mountainous and coastal Adriatic area with drinking water. Intensive water dissolution of carbonate rocks creates visually very attractive spaces, parts of which are designated as National parks. Karst area is generally poor with surface water, which are mainly related to karst fields or the edges of the high parts of Dinaric area. Real wealth is groundwater, which drains to a large karst springs after a relatively short retaining in underground with high apparent velocities. Regardless of the natural high karst aquifers, natural vulnerability and relatively short retaining of water in karst underground, the groundwater quality is high and is practically used with a minimum treatment in the water supply of the population. Presentation will be focused on the origin and the geological events at Dinaric platform, origin and spatial distribution of water resources, the emergence of large karst springs, water quality in karst catchments, ways of the water use and problems with the water in these areas, especially the sustainable protection of water quality including impact of the sea in coastal areas and on islands, especially in condition of expected global climatic changes.