A project for the development of water infrastructure in the Tisza Valley is starting with HUF 5.6 billion non-refundable funding from the European Union and the Hungarian state; the project, expected to be completed by the end of November 2023, will contribute to increasing flood safety in the region.
István Láng, Director-General of the National Water Management Directorate (OVF), said at the announcement in Szolnok on Friday that records had been broken in flood levels and drought in the last twenty to twenty-five years. It is estimated that this year's drought damage to the national economy is between HUF 1,300 billion and 1,600 billion, but water needs have been met, he noted.
He recalled that after the drought of 1935, the damage was worth HUF 2,500 billion at today's prices, after which irrigation development was launched in the Great Plain. He also reported that annual drought damage averaged around HUF 400 billion, major flood damage averaged around 50 billion forints a year, and inland flood damage averaged between 20-30 billion forints a year. He added that last year, ‘another leg’ of the protection was built, namely drought damage management, which had to be applied this year, as additional pumping had to be ordered in many places to meet water needs.
The director of the Central Tisza Region Water Management Directorate (Kötivizig), Attila Lovas, stressed that "about 48 kilometers of sections are being upgraded, some of which will improve the strength and load-bearing capacity of the flood protection embankment.”
Kötivizig's Karcag section will start the construction of a new protection center in Apava and the Karcag machine shop, as well as the reconstruction of the Gástyás II pumping station. The development also includes the ‘electrification’ of the diesel-fired plant. This will significantly increase inland water safety and the capacity of the Gástyás irrigation canal by reconstructing the pressure pipe network.
The Szolnok Defense Station is a key logistical base, where new warehouses will be built to allow for the professional storage and preservation of defense equipment and devices. This is also the purpose of the hall being built at the Hosszúfok II. pump station in Kötivizig's operational area, which will also provide long-term storage for portable pumps, he said.
The project will also include the renovation and conversion of the Tiszaliget flood protection center, built in the 1970s on the territory of Kötivizig's Szolnok Specialist Survey, where the experts involved in the work will be accommodated, he added.
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