The Hungarian pilot area, Hajdu-Bihar County located in the centre of the Hungarian Great Plain is characterized by intensive agriculture, nature protection (Hortobagy Area) and fish pond culture (more than 3000 ha). The main water resources are the East and West Main Canal.
Main characteristics:

  • large livestock farms with high number of animals
  • the greatest Nature Protected Area in the country (Hortobágy: 80.000 ha)
  • important pond fishing
  • it is forbidden to drain effluence of treated wastewater into East Main Canal and West Main Canal

Challenges related to the target area:

  • high agricultural water demand but old irrigation techniques
  • profitability (cost of water, cost of equipments, cost of labour)
  • increase of ecological and recreational water demand
  • high water demand of fish ponds
  • use of fertilizers

Objectives in the EU.WATER project:

  • to evaluate the old-type agricultural water management and traditional fish pond water resource use
  • to develop multipurpose water management system for this area through harmonizing the agricultural, fish-pond and nature conservation water management

Activities planned in EU.WATER project:

  • data compilation on traditional agricultural production and fish pond water resource use
  • survey on the dynamically increasing nature protection water demand (wetlands, protected areas, etc.)
  • development of scenarios on the need for this 3 main components
  • survey of actual and real water use and  state of the art of the nitrate pollution (data base, map)
  • preparation, development and implementation of efficient irrigation developments
  • formulation of recommendations on the reduction of nitrate pollution

Expected result:

  • Area specific integrated multipurpose water management system based on the strong support of stakeholders and ensuring the reduction of water resource pollution in a long term

As observer, the County Office of the Hungarian Agricultural and Rural Development Agency provides effective support to project implementation.