Meeting of the Danube Working Group of the Slovak-Hungarian Boundary Waters Commission
Such events are also part of the successful implementation of our project activities on the Danube. On 16 May, together with experts from the Water Research Institute, we participated in the meeting of the Slovak-Hungarian Boundary Waters Commission to present the plans, visions and activities of the LIFE Danube Floodplains, LIFE Dynamic Life Lines Danube, LIFE WILDislands and LIFE Living Rivers projects. This Boundary Waters Commission is mainly responsible for tasks related to water management measures of a technical nature in the areas of changes to the water regime, maintenance and treatment of watercourses, construction, installations and activities that may affect runoff conditions, flood protection and, last but not least, the protection of boundary waters as part of the environment and the protection of aquatic and littoral habitats. Therefore, the opinion of this committee on the individual activities of our projects is important for their successful implementation.
The current objective of the LIFE Danube floodplains project is the reconstruction of the lower 3.7 km-long Vojčianske arm, where the A2 and A3 dams will be rebuilt from tubular to larger frame dams. The channel of the arm will be widened to at least 10 m wide in narrow places and a ford will be built on the forked arm to maintain access to the island. The Commission was presented with the design documentation already prepared for each of the proposed measures. The project is currently the subject of an application for a building permit. In addition, other plans and project documents were presented which aim to rebuild selected parts of the linear dams of the Danube river system to better accommodate migratory fish and to increase the flow dynamics in these sections.
Another project presented before the Slovak-Hungarian Boundary Waters Commission was the LIFE project Dynamic Life Lines Danube, which aims to restore selected sections of the Danube’s arm systems, improve lateral connectivity, improve conditions for floodplain forest habitats, but also for spawning of Danube fish species. At present, project documentation is being prepared for the Foki arm, where we plan to implement measures in the form of lowering and remodelling of three groynes in the upper part of the channel, removal of stone traverses in the channel and deepening of the channel, together with the restoration of the connection to the Old Danube channel.
The aim of the LIFE WILDisland project is to reconnect the two lateral arms of the Medvedev river branch system for a total length of approximately 1.7 km. The aim of the activity is to improve the flow dynamics and the entire floodplain, to restore their flow capacity and thus to support the restoration of the soft floodplain forest habitat on the islands naturally formed by the river network of the Danube arms. At the Klížská Nemá site, we plan to partially cut and separate the stone groynes from the bank for the first time on the Slovak side of the Danube, thus supporting the creation of a permanently flowing side channel and the establishment of new island structures.
As one of the important institutions in the whole permitting process, our project plans and presented activities were welcomed by the Commission and met with a positive response. All these project activities are fully in line with the implementation of the Water Plan of Slovakia and the Concept of Water Policy of the Slovak Republic until 2030. This type of strategic meeting, such as the Slovak-Hungarian Boundary Waters Commission, also takes our activities a significant step forward.