SZIGETKOZ-PROJECT - Implementation of an innovative Decision Support Tool for the Sustainable water and land-use management planning and Flow Suppelmentation of the Hungarian-Slovakian Transboundary Danube Wetland Area (Szigetköz)

LIFE04 ENV/HU/000382

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Sandor SZELES
Tel: 36 20 348 2044
Fax: +36 96 576 354
Email: mariakalnok@haninet.hu

Project description:


Szigetköz is an island between the Mosoni-Danube and the 'old' Danube. It is 52km long and has an average width of 7-8km. It is composed of Pleistocene loose gravel sediment, which has an extremely good water holding capacity. The sediment layer can be as much as 400 m in width.

Because of the sediment layer, the Slovakian-Hungarian Transboundary Danube Wetland is one of the greatest drinking-water bases in Europe. The area is highly biodiverse and has a complex ecology, hosting unusual flora and fauna. There are many dead oxbow lakes on Szigetköz resulting in a widespread wetland area. In the lower parts of Szigetköz close to the rivers, there are as many as 67 plant-associations.


The project was to develop a sustainable water and land-use management decision support tool (DST) to achieve maximum efficiency in water policies relating to the EU's Water Framework Directive. The GIS-based DST was meant be a strategic development plan and decision-making protocol, based on the findings of the "monitoring level". The implementation of the project was the first real Slovakian-Hungarian Cooperation that included all relevant civil and technical organisations of the two countries.


The project successfully developed, tested, implemented and demonstrated a new integrated approach in regional development – a system in which environmental, economic and social needs are evaluated at the same time and by the same parameters.

A wide-base end-user and stakeholder analysis, environmental state and impact assessments, social-economic surveys and policy evaluation were performed, based on the newest EC policies and principles such as Water Framework Directive (WFD).

The results and the findings of these tasks were the inputs to the newly-developed on-line GIS application, which is able to visualise the results and help the evaluation of the assessments.

These achievements fed into the project’s main result, the Decision Support Tool, which is a state-of-the art GIS based strategic planning mechanism that helps decision-makers to model and evaluate any decision at a local level (subsidiarity) before it is decreed.

The other main result of the project was the implementation of a brand-new flow-supplementation system in the Lower-Szigetköz, including the building of a 3 865 m long channel-bed, transporting 1.5-2.3 m3/s water. The Csallóközi sluice gate was also reconstructed as part of this work. The flow supplementation system has enabled the project to test and model the efficiency of the DST and the GIS-tool and also to demonstrate and evaluate the positive effects of the flow-supplementation system on the environment, based on the recommendations and parameters of the WFD.

One of the findings of this monitoring is that water flow has increased from 0.8 m3/s to 1.1 m3/s without harming fish stocks. By increasing the water level and quality, the project contributed to saving the aquatic ecosystems of many channels within the Szigetköz wetlands, that risked to dry out.

As a result of the LIFE project, Szigetköz Development Council has been founded with the overall aim to harmonise the project results and ensure their long term operation.

Disclaimer : This « results » section should be considered as a draft until the Commission has completed its evaluation .


Environmental issues addressed:


Water - River basin management


land use planning‚  decision making support‚  wetland‚  water resources management‚  border

Target EU Legislation

  • Water
  • Directive 2000/60 - Framework for Community action in the field of water policy (23.10.2000)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Association of Municipalities of Slovakian -Hungarian Transboundary Danube Wetland Area
Type of organisation Intergovernmental body
Description The Association of Municipalities of Slovakian-Hungarian Transboundary Danube Wetland Area is a public body that included (directly or indirectly) all the municipalities of the region. Project partners included The North-Transdanubian Environmental and Water Directorate, the Slovakian (VUVH) and the Hungarian (VITUKI) Water Research Institutes and Geonardo Ltd.
Partners Geonardo Ltd., Hungary VITUKI's-Water Resources Research Centre Plc., Hungary EDUVIZIG–North Transdanubian Water Management Authority, Hungary


Project reference LIFE04 ENV/HU/000382
Duration 01-NOV-2004 to 01-NOV -2007
Total budget 2,168,645.00 €
EU contribution 1,078,652.00 €
Project location Associated Hungary (H)(Hungary Magyarország) Associated Slovakia (SK)(Slovakia Slovensko)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website (HU/EN)
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan (EN)
Publication: Layman report Layman report (EN)


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version