Study of transboundary groundwater bodies between Bulgaria and Greece

Project facts

Project promoter:
Geological Institute , Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Project Number:
Target groups
Researchers or scientists,
Civil servants/Public administration staff
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 272,174
The project is carried out in:
Северен централен


Proper identification of transboundary GWB, assessed based on needed field survey and sampling, scientific verification and their characterization is a core issue which is relevant for the correct actualization of RBMPs for East and West Aegean river basin districts and for improving transboundary coordination in the context of WFD implementation. The proposed project activities will improve understanding of the character of GWB next to Bulgarian – Greek boundary and will identify possible transfer of water through the national border. The project aims to develop criteria to identify transboundary ground water bodies (GWB) and connections between surface and ground water bodies and between groundwater bodies and terrestrial ecosystems. Based on the results and the collected additional information will be adopt monitoring programs in order to be possible relevant to assess water status and to establish correct objectives for the transboundary GWB.

Summary of project results

Intensive economic development creates tensions in water systems, including groundwater. The management of transboundary groundwater resources should be conducted on a scientific basis and on reliable information in order to avoid possible conflicts between the countries concerned. The main objective of the project was to provide better management of the groundwater bodies with groundwater flow between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Greece. Results from implementation are the identification, delineation and characterization of all water bodies located near the border, clarifying their quantitative and chemical status, taking into account the changing environment and assessing of the risk of pollution as well as their relations with the surface water bodies and ecosystems. In the process of characterization of the groundwater bodies, data from many different sources were used, as well innovative methods for assessing the quantitative and chemical status, resource and recharge assessment, anthropogenic pressure and impact on associated ecosystems. An analysis of the existing monitoring system has been made, using data from the Basin Directorates and Bulgarian National Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology. The development of the monitoring network set in the Second River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) was also the subject of analysis and research in the project. А huge amount of information was gathered and processed in addition to the available data bases in the Basin Directorates. A complex database which consists mainly of 141 vector and 4 raster layers was developed. Protocols, photos to certain points, various maps about the studied area (soils, minerals, hydro-chemistry, and geology) are digitalized and added. Methods developed to characterize groundwater bodies have been applied in individual reports for each groundwater body. These reports will be used by the Basin Directorate experts in long future for preparation of the next river basin management plans. The joint work and the combined efforts and knowledge of scientists, experts and specialists have been realized in the creation of a product that is a good basis for the future work of both the Geological Institute scientists and the experts from the Basin Directorates. The results obtained from the joint work of the teams are used in the preparation of the Second River Basin Management Plans, regarding Bulgaria's commitment to complying with the requirements of Directive 2000/60/EC and Directive 2006/118/EC

Summary of bilateral results