To try to alleviate the water shortage in the region, following the droughts this summer, representatives of professional organizations and NGOs, as well as mayors, met at the conference held at the County Hall of Nyíregyháza, the county seat of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county in Hungary. In the future, more plans and programs will be organized to address this pressing issue.
This time experts discussed at the conference the GeoSES, a climate strategy plan in cooperation between four countries (Hungary, Ukraine, Slovakia, and Romania) which, of course, includes water replenishment in the region. Tibor Siket, the representative of to organizers, has said they want to start a tangible program. The planning of water replenishment in the Nyírség area has begun, but there are more water-scarce areas in the county – some of them were “wetter and muddier” not long ago, in his childhood.
Participating parts, like the state of Hungary or WWF Hungary, are facing difficulties as the water level of Tisza still needs to be higher. István Láng, Director General of the National Water Directorate, said: “It’s crucial to raise water to peak points, most likely in closed pipes, and then keep that water in the area in reservoirs. On the one hand, to allow infiltration so it could replenish groundwater and provide soil moisture, and on the other hand, to allow irrigation. This area’s water shortage is a huge problem, comparable only to Homokhátság.” (the area between the river Danube and the Tisza).
There are ongoing discussions with neighboring countries on how to share the water resources of rivers crossing their borders. In the Upper Tisza region, joint projects could help replenish water around the edges.
You can watch a summary of the conference (in Hungarian) here: