WATERS ON THE SMREKOVEC HIGHLAND RIDGE
The bedrock of the Smrekovec highland ridge consists of impermeable layers, consequently there is a lot of surface water. The most important hydro heritage are numerous springs in belt of 1100 to 1400 m a.s.l. The highest among them is the spring of Vrtačnik stream under Krnes on 1600 m a.s.l. Water gathers in abundant tributaries like the Ljubija, the Štajerska and the Koroška Kramarica, the Javorski potok, the Bistra, the Krumpah and the Žep. In some cases surface water percolates underground in the contact with the permeable calcareous bedrock and reaches the surface in the valleys through karst springs. Some karst springs are water captures, e.g. the Ljubija spring, which is the most important supply of potable water for the Šalek valley. Stagnant water is of special significant as well. Natural puddles and small wetlands are a living place for many endangered amphibians and insects; you can observe here rare plant species. Many wetlands or puddles are man made – they origin from stock drinking trough (“kal”).
Water abundance on the Smrekovec highland ridge is of great value. The proverb Water is the spring of life should teach us a lot. Springs are a source of potable water. Protection of the quality of the spring depends on the safeguarding of the whole drainage basin. Pure water springs only from clean and non-polluted drainage basins!