Project summary

The project aims at preventing the negative effects on the quality of water bodies by establishing a joint system of improvement of water management in AP Vojvodina and Csongrád County.

The main objective will be achieved by the specific objectives:

  • To improve the water balance of the Jegrička River (44+015 km-46+673 km/29+588 km-37+892 km) and the Kurca main channel (4+487 km-9+997 km) in the CBC region by dredging the sludge, construction of facilities and removal of overgrown vegetation from the riverbed.
  • To develop a joint monitoring and analysis system to preserve the water quality and biodiversity in the CBC region
  • To define long-term solutions to prevent the degradation of the quality of water bodies

Project duration: 30 months.


Background

The Kurca is an artificially regulated watercourse connecting the Hármas-Körös River and the Tisza River in Hungary. It is also the main outlet of the region’s used water (used thermal water and purified wastewater). The Jegrička is a river in northern Serbia, in the Bačka region of the province of Vojvodina, a 65 km-long left tributary to the Tisa River. It is included in the Danube-Tisa-Danube (DTD) hydro-system.

Both watercourses are the main biotope in the region and the most important water sources for the ecological systems. What these two watercourses have in common is that they transport water for irrigation in the region and flood prevention. These water bodies are permanently influenced by the pollutants from the agricultural lands and settlements, furthermore low discharge rate has been observed and the water quality has decreased. Following on the results of the previous eWAM project (HUSRB/1203/121/237) implemented in 2014, there is a need to continue the revitalisation and monitoring tasks in the Jegrička River and Kurca main channel in order to prevent the negative effects on these two water bodies.

Being surrounded by arable land, due to precipitation, the organic material is washed off from the surrounding arable land, which results in the development of excess aquatic vegetation leading to the so called “water plugs“, which do not allow normal water flow. In the winter, aquatic vegetation falls down to the bottom, i.e. the amount of sludge increases. Such a condition leads to weaker water flow, i.e. the excess water cannot drain away normally from the river basin area, but it remains in the river bed and thus it poses great hazard to flooding the surrounding area and affects the biodiversity.

For that reason, hydro-technical works on dredging is necessary for it would improve water quality, faster flow of water and provide safety for the local population and crops from flooding since AP Vojvodina and Bács-Kiskun County are mostly agricultural.


Problem, challenge to be addressed

Both water bodies are permanently exposed to the influence of different diffused pollution from the basin. According to the results of the previous eWAM project, the flora and fauna were rehabilitated and the water quality was improved. The watercourses are suffering from the negative effects of sludge disposal. The eutrophication as a result of bad water quality turn the river ecosystem into a swampy and pond-like form. At the same time the natural values and wildlife are becoming endangered.

A number of dispersed pollutants in the river basin area directly affect the water quality and accumulate in the sediment of the river bed. The wastewater discharge from settlements and water inflow from the drainage system, furthermore the erosion caused by surface water drainage in the surrounding agricultural land have also led to the increase in the levels of nutrients and organic materials in the water and sediment. The present condition of the given section of the Jegrička and Kurca indicates a large amount of accumulated sludge in the water and low ecological status for the local flora and fauna.

The cross-border cooperation in water management is necessary between Serbia and Hungary to achieve “good water quality”. Within this project, monitoring data will be collected and evaluated to prevent the negative effects on the quality of water bodies and preserve the biodiversity of the Jegrička and Kurca. The water quality improvement through the project will lead to a better quality of life in general. It is necessary to define solutions to overcome the existing problems relating to the water quality, using the wetlands system, as one way to treat wastewater from the riverbank area. A basis for future works will be provided by the general project with a previous feasibility study of the Jegrička Nature Park against the impact of ground and surface water.

Target groups

The project will contribute to a harmonized development of the region with intensified economic cooperation through a sustainable use of natural and cultural resources by preserving the biodiversity and achieving good water quality that fits the Programme overall aim. The local economy in the cross-border area is based on agriculture.

Water supply and excess water protection are very important for the stakeholders of agricultural sector and environmental protection. The final beneficiaries are the population in the cross-border region, farmers, environmental institutions (National Parks, forestry, fish- and wildlife management), moreover, tourist organizations will also benefit from this project. The irrigation of water resources is the keystone for the local economy. The excess water is a high-risk to the environment in the lowland area so the Jegrička and Kurca play a very important role in preventing the excess water inundation.

The main target groups involved in the project are experts in the field of water management, nature and flood protection, Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences of the University of Novi Sad – Department for Biology and Ecology, University of Szeged, who will be present at the round tables. The project opening/closing events will target members of local public authorities in the CBC region as potential influencers/multiplayers and as such positively affected by the project activities and results. In order to raise their awareness of the environment, children will be involved in the educational and greening activities.

Main results:

  • 1. Excess water prevention achieved by revitalisation of the Jegrička and Kurca water bodies and their riverbed areas
  • 2. Hydro-biological analyses and monitoring of water quality and sludge of the Jegrička and Kurca at selected locations before/after the dredging in compliance with Article 8 of the EU Water Framework Directive conducted;
  • 3. Experience between Serbian and Hungarian partners exchanged in the field of sustainable water management and nature protection
  • 4. Long-term solutions owing to the studies of nature parks against the impact of ground and surface water provided;
  • 5. Joint database with relevant information concerning the monitoring and evaluation of water quality, which will be a basis for future cooperation in the field of water management and nature protection, created
  • 6. Raised awareness and increased know-how of target groups in the CBC area.

Expected outputs:

  • The Jegrička dredged at the section 44+015km-46+673km/29+588km-37+892km
  • The Kurca dredged at the section 4+487 km-9+997 km
  • 1 water retention facility reconstructed
  • 1.5 km inspection/walking path constructed
  • 1 monitoring station constructed
  • 2 hydro-biological/chemical analyses/monitoring of water quality/sludge of the Jegrička and Kurca conducted
  • General project with previous feasibility study of the Jegrička Nature Park against the impact of ground/surface water developed
  • Monograph developed
  • Multifunctional amphibious machine procured
  • 5 educational workshops/3 round tables for target groups held
  • Trilingual website developed and joint database created
  • Promotional material distributed
  • Promo campaign conducted

The monitoring analyses and studies of the Kurca/Jegrička by collecting data on water quality will provide a basis for the prevention of further degradation of the quality of water bodies. The biodiversity of the Jegrička/Kurca will be preserved by improving the water quality. The education/awareness raising of target groups will result in better competence in handling issues of drainage/irrigation/water pollution/water preservation/flood prevention, ensuring effects for another 20 years since the knowledge can be used.

Main activities:

  • 1. Dredging of the Jegrička River: the Jegrička section 44+015km-46+673km and 29+588km-37+892km will be removed of harmful vegetation and dredged of contaminated sludge. For this purpose, a multifunctional amphibious machine will be procured for regular maintenance of the dredged area, and other sections of the Jegrička during/after project.
  • 2. Dredging of the Kurca main channel: between the 4+847-9+997 km sections as a continuation of the previous IPA investment, the plan involves the removal of the aggradation/bed material/from the channel bed and the clearing of the bed and slope on a further 5.150 linear meter long section.
  • 3. Reconstruction of one water retention facility (“Bikaistálló-gate”): reconstruction (structure renovation) of the Kurca main channel – Bikaistálló sluice, section 27+827, Szentes.
  • 4. Works on the inspection and walking path on the Jegrička riverbank: works on the riverside path, app. 1.5 km long, on the right bank of the Jegrička River, which will be positioned on the part of the section of the watercourse covered by the eWAM project.
  • 5. Drafting and publishing of monograph: collection of material, drafting and publishing the monograph about the Jegrička Nature Park, protected area, environmental protection and water management facilities.
  • 6. Development of study: general project with previous feasibility study – given that there is a problem of water pollution in the Jegrička, which is reflected by water quality in the watercourse, it is necessary to define solutions to overcome the existing problems relating to the water quality, using the wetland system, as one way to treat wastewater from the riverbank area.
  • 7. Construction of a monitoring station at 27+827 km cross-section: the pollutants significantly affecting the water quality can be measured per sections with the new devices, thus the monitoring points have been aligned with the aforementioned.
  • 8. Hydro-biological analysis and monitoring of water and sludge quality: to be done in two stages: the first will be done in the area covered by the eWAM project to determine the ecological status of the Jegrička; the second will involve a hydro-biological analysis and monitoring of the quality of water, sludge and coastal land of the Jegrička before/after the dredging to compare the parameter values.
  • 9. Monitoring analysis and study of the Kurca habitat: collection of water quality data (physical and chemical parameters like salinity, trophity, micro pollutants, biological parameters like plancton, benthic sediment, macrophyte) and examination of the sediment in selected localities before and after the project.
  • 10. Organisation of educational activities: 5 educational workshops for target groups: 1 for agriculturalists on drainage/irrigation/water pollution, 1 for local stakeholders on the water preservation and flood prevention, 3 for children involving greening and landscaping of the protected area of the Jegrička Nature Park.
  • 11. Organisation of round tables: 3 round tables to exchange best practices in the field of water management and nature protection.
  • 12. Development of project website with database: the website will include best practice descriptions concerning the conduced analyses/studies, short description about the parameters of measurements, short reports about the dredging, useful PR material, evaluation, photos.
  • 13. Promo campaign: the visibility activities will be implemented to present the project activities/results. The opening/closing events will be held in Hungary/Serbia, preparation, printing and distribution of leaflets and brochures encompassing the analysis, monitoring results. Visibility involves media campaign in Hungary/Serbia.
program slogan