Concluding remarks

Climate variability affected the groundwater regime in Bulgaria. Karst and shallow porous aquifers showed their vulnerability to long-lasting droughts. It seems that groundwater in karst regions was most affected by the reduction of recharge during such periods due to direct connection between surface and groundwater in many carbonate terrains.

The processed data give evidence for a major drop of recharge to the aquifers in Bulgaria during the 1982-1994 drought period and also for decrease of groundwater resources. In situations of water shortage the interest in available groundwater resources is enhanced for domestic and industrial water supply. It must be taken into consideration that groundwater, similarly to surface water, is vulnerable to droughts.

Our research does not concern deep aquifers, therefore it is not possible to establish a reliable conclusion for them. Owing to the limited number of observational stations and diversity of the hydro-geological setting, the effect of regionalization has not been studied.

Groundwater in Bulgaria is a widely used resource that is unfortunately vulnerable to drought. It is necessary to perform good management for sustainable water use. The aim of this type of research is to introduce the problems of the negative impact of drought periods to society. It is necessary to investigate the formation of groundwater resources and to study their vulnerability to droughts. The rational utilization of water resources should take into consideration surface and groundwater together.

Drought analysis is a major issue for drought policies and implementation of strategies for drought awareness. Work on drought analysis may be useful for water and social economic technicians, institutions or policy-makers because it gives the basis for studying impacts of droughts.

The authors acknowledge that the part concerning ground-water investigations was taken from Orehova & Bojilova (2001).

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