Habitat Reconstruction in the forests of the Körös Valley, Hungary

National Id
Hungary_01
Site name
River Fekete-Körös, Town Gyula,
Summary
The fragments of floodplain forests (Fraxino - pannonicae -Ulmetum) along the River Körös were cut from the river by dykes during the river regulation works in the 19th century. The deteriorated groundwater conditions were worsened in a drought period during the 1980-1990’s that triggered action of the forestry service. Restoration of the river connection and the floodplain watercourse network provide surface water supply from the backwater of flood waves to the 2000 ha forest. The result of the habitat reconstruction work is a 38.8 km long water-flow and a water surface of 15.7 hectares, cc 400 hectares of the forest has a direct positive ecological impact.
The water supply of the floodplain channel network has another source as well. A smaller volume comes from a fishery. In case of this second source the nutrient content of the fishery is assimilated in the forest as an additional service. Previously this load were let back into the river directly.
The in-depth description of the case study
NUTS Code
Dél-Alföld
RBD code
HU1000
Transboundary
0
Data provider
Gábor Ungvári, REKK
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study
Longitude
21.389736
Latitude
46.698664
Climate zone
warm temperate dry
Mean rainfall
550
Mean rainfall unit
mm/year
Mean runoff
34,5999984741211
Mean runoff unit
600 - 750 mm
Type
Actual Test Site
Light or indepth?
In-depth
Average slope range
0-1%
Vegetation class
Broad-leaved forest
Monitoring impacts effects
0
Monitoring location
Unknown
Performance impact estimation method
Unknown
Application scale
Field Scale
Installation date
1999
Lifespan
100
Age
19
Performance timescale
Immediate
Area (ha)
400
Area subject to Land use change or Management/Practice change (ha)
40
Size
38,7999992370605
Size unit
km
Design capacity description
Maximum quantity of water derived from the river depends on the water level. During a year there is cc 180 days for water supply. During this period cc 2 million m3 water arrives into the area
Constraints
The high cost of a previous attempt to pump water for the area proved prohibitively expensive and made it clear that only gravitational supply can provide sustainable solution.
Favourable preconditions
This is a state owned forest, that consists of one forest body. Also it is inside a temporary flood storage reservoir in a band of the River Fekete-Körös. The isolation of the area and lack of the risk of flooding further areas made it an easy case from the water directorate's point of view
The landscape relief that has the former river branches in the territory
Design contractual arrangement
Arrangement type
Other
Comments
The use of the funds were approved by the owner, but it was the element of the normal protocol.
Name
No specific contractual arrangement
Arrangement type
Other
Comments
During the first period of the operation there were several attempts to create a standalone water governance protocol for the regional water directorate to use, but an adaptive method that is based on the event by event communication between the forestry and the water authority became working the solution.
Name
No detailed protocol about the operation of the water supply
Design consultation activity
Activity stage
Design phase
Name
There were consultation with the private land owners of the area
Comments
There were no details provided
Design authority
Authority type
Forest owners
Role
Initiation of the measure
Name
DALERD Rt (South-Alfí¶ld Forestry Ltd.
Comments
The organisation has a key role in initiating, design and application as well
Authority type
Regional / sub-national water authority
Role
Determination of design details of the measure
Name
Kí¶rí¶svidéki Ví­zí¼gy Igazgatí³ság
Comments
Details that belong to the design of the dyke crossing of the water supply channels. It also has role in the operation of the locks.
Authority type
Other
Role
Determination of design details of the measure
Name
íllami Erdészeti Szolgálat Kecskeméti Igazgatí³ság
Comments
Regional Forestry Directorate, it approves the forestry management plans in its district
Authority type
Other
Role
Financing
Name
íllami Privatizácií³s és Vagyonkezelési Ügyní¶kség - íPV Rt.
Comments
Formally owner of state forestries
Key lessons
Surface water supply is an effective way of recharging groundwater storage capacity of forest soil in order to reduce droughts risk by enhancing the natural inter-seasonal allocation of water.

The key difference of this application compared to an area with generally the same problems is the possibility to sort out the transaction costs that emerge from in an area with multi-party ownership.

If the suitable complex knowledge happens to be at the right place, no further incentive is needed to take advantage of an upcoming possibility. †“ It highlights the fundamental need of education about the complex nature of the water-land use-ecosystem nexus.
Success factor(s)
Success factor type
Attitude of relevant stakeholders
Success factor role
main factor
Comments

The main success factor was the forestry management's unequivocal understanding of the structural problem what threatens the sustainable operation: the lack of inundations. They grasped the first occasion to finance and negotiate such a development. The financial consolidation/restructuring process of the state forestry organizations provided financial sources that were used to improve fundamental production conditions.

Financing
Financing type
National funds
Comments
Reorganization subsidy from the owner the (the state owned) National Privatization and Asset Management Ltd. (Regional Forestry Organizations were formed into state owned joint stock companies.
Transfer from the (that time existed) national Forest Regeneration Fund
Barrier
Barrier type
Existing institutional framework
Barrier role
main barrier
Comments
Implementation required the reconciliation of forestry and water management interests. The main issues were:
- Should the forestry pay for the water (resource)? It was resolved as ecological water supply
- No water inlet at the front side of the flood waves because of flood safety reasons.
- The forestry resign to demand compensation for damages what the water that remains out in its territory can cause.
Driver
Driver type
Organisation committed to it
Driver role
main driver
Policy description
River regulation works of the 19th and 20th century resulted in degraded living conditions for the river valley forests (declining groundwater levels, lack of inundations). A 12 year long dry period in the 1980-1990 pushed the remaining forests into critical status. The insufficient available water quantity had to increase.
Part of wider plan
0
Policy target
Target purpose
Groundwater Recharge
Target purpose
Increase Water Storage
Direct benefits information
Biomass production
Wildlife management, the area provides higher animal carrying capacity
Assimilation of nutrient load of incoming water
Ancillary benefits information
Amenities: This area is the Forest School of the nearby Gyula town, education and recreation facilities for school programs with regional importance. Total education activity 3-4 thousand education day per year (counted like workload in the person month). 3-6 visitor nights.
Costs investment
810000
Costs investment information
Planner's estimation of the development cost in 2014 prices of the same work volume, 200-300 million HUF (650.000 - 970.000€)
Costs operation maintenance
No significant operation or maintenance cost were identified
Costs total
810000
Costs total information
Planner's estimation of the development cost in 2014 prices of the same work volume, 200-300 million HUF (650.000 - 970.000€)
Ecosystem improved biodiversity
1
Ecosystem provisioning services
1
Ecosystem impact climate regulation
No information available
Retained water
2000000
Retained water unit
m3/year
Information on increased water storage
Previously it was zero
Information on runoff reduction
No outflow from the area
Water quality overall improvements
Positive impact-WQ improvement
Information on Water quality overall improvements
The forest assimilate the nutrient overloaded water from the near-by fishery
Soil quality overall soil improvements
N/A info
Information on Soil quality overall soil improvements
N/A info

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