Connecting sewers to protect the wildlife of the Upper Tisza region

2023. 12. 22.

The reconstruction of the Szabolcsveresmart-Kisvárda water supply channel was carried out to protect the ecosystem and improve the situation of protected plants and animals. During the project, which was implemented under the Environmental and Energy Efficiency Operational Programme (EEEOP), 113,000 m3 of ground were moved and 90,000 square meters of water-tight covering was established on the canal.

Preservation of biodiversity has become a critical issue in our country as well, which is especially true for the drought-stricken Upper Tisza region. Due to the lack of water, the surrounding lakes and canals require artificial water replacement in order to preserve the natural resources and support the flora and fauna. The Szabolcsveresmart-Kisvárda water replacement channel is a key element of the system, because it connects Lake Rétközi and Lake Nádas. In order to preserve nature and prevent the extinction of protected species, the management of the Hortobágy National Park applied for a call under the title Nature conservation and restoration of the wetlands of the Upper Tisza region.

With the help of European Union support, the ecological water supply of the affected areas was ensured on the Szabolcsveresmart-Kisvárda water line, thereby creating an ideal condition for the protected species native to the area as well as habitat types of community importance. The investment was justified, since the Rétközi Lake dried up because of the lack of rainfall since 2011, and the groundwater levels dropped. These changes threatened the entire ecosystem.

The reconstruction of the channel was essential for the at least partial restoration of the previous conditions, as well as for the rehabilitation of the nature conservation area of the Kisvárdai Gyepek. The central element of the project was the supply of water to Lake Nádas near Kisvárda, which is a habitat for species of community importance, such as thunder-fish, bitterling, danube crested newt, fire-bellied toad, European pond turtle and otter. The renewable natural environment can be maintained in a safer and simpler way with biological treatments that have been used for decades in other areas of the national park.

During the project between 2018 and 2022, they carried out the dredging and section expansion of the Szabolcsveresmart-Kisvárda water replacement channel, constructed new embankments, stabilized the crown and created water damage prevention sites – all this in a stretch of nearly seven kilometers. During the dredging, 113,000 m3 of ground were moved, a total of 27 culverts, sluices and bottom thresholds were built, and 90,000 square meters of watertight covering of the canal and pools was carried out.

Thanks to the project, habitat islands have reappeared that have preserved the natural values previously present in large extent and number. In addition, the investment also creates an opportunity to develop a water replacement structure for wetlands (swamps, marshes, bogs) located close to the route of the water replacement system.


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The program was implemented in the framework of the EEEOP-4.1.0-15-2016-00085 project, with EU funding.

For more information visit the project finder:Details



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