Restoration of natural watercourses to reduce water deficit on sodic wetland system in the Hortobágy

Reference: LIFE21-NAT-HU-SODIC-WETLAND-SYSTEM/101074474 | Acronym: LIFE21-NAT-HU-SODIC WETLAND SYSTEM

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND

The 2,933-hectare Pannonic salt steppes and salt marshes and Pannonic loess steppes project area developed a significant water deficit. The combined effects of regional rainwater drawdown and climate change have resulted in 1.1-1.5 million m3 less rainwater entering the project area each year. The status of the wetlands of the 15 sodic wetlands has changed unfavourably, as the proportion of dry habitat mosaics in the riverbeds was 2% in the reference state, which has increased to 33% today. The healthy water balance was further upset by the proliferation of problematic non-native and native trees and shrubs with water consumption higher than that of the original plant communities, as well as proliferation of reed and cattail. The loosening of the riverbed and the compaction of the soils of direct catchments also had an adverse effect, leading to a further decrease of the residence time of the water and increased sedimentation of the beds. In sum, an unfavourable steppification process has started to take place, which has significantly damaged the conservation status of the sodic wetland sub-type of 1530 habitat, thereby reducing the population of priority bird species characteristic of these habitats by 300-400%, and also impaired ecosystem services. The primary goal of the project is to tackle the problem of reduced water deficit in the 15 sodic wetlands. This can be done by supplementing the precipitation from the direct catchment with the annual 1.1-1.5 million m3 of rainwater generated in the 6,000-hectare catchment, which is discharged into the 15 water bodies by restored watercourses. As a result, in wetland beds, the sub-type habitat will return to the reference status level on average, in particular the proportion of dry sodic habitats will decrease from today's 33% to 5% by the end of the project period. As a further effect, the number of priority breeding and migratory bird species will also increase to at least 90-95% of the potential carrying capacity.


ADMINISTRATIVE DATA


Reference: LIFE21-NAT-HU-SODIC-WETLAND-SYSTEM/101074474
Acronym: LIFE21-NAT-HU-SODIC WETLAND SYSTEM
Start Date: 01/09/2022
End Date: 31/12/2027
Total Eligible Budget: 3,149,611 €
EU Contribution: 2,362,209 €
Project Location:

CONTACT DETAILS


Coordinating Beneficiary: HORTOBAGY TERMESZETVEDELMI EGYESULET
Legal Status: PRIVATE
Address: DEBRECENI UTCA 139., 4060, BALMAZUJVAROS, Hungary Magyarország
Contact Person: Ecsedi ZOLTÁN
Email: Send Email
Website: Visit Website


ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ADDRESSED

NATURA 2000 SITES

Type Code Name
SCI HUHN20002 Hortobágy
SPA HUHN10002 Hortobágy

BENEFICIARIES

Name Type
MAGYAR RACKAJUH TENYESZTO EGYESULET Participant
HORTOBAGY TERMESZETVEDELMI EGYESULET Coordinator
RONA LEGELTETESI TARSULAS EGYESULET Participant
SZALKAHALMI ALLATTENYESZTO ES ERTEKESITO KFT Participant
BALMAZUJVAROSI KOSSUTH MEZOGAZDASAGI SZOVETKEZET Participant
KATHI FARM KERESKEDELMI ES SZOLGALTATO KFT Participant
BALMAZUJVAROSI FELSOSEGI LEGELTETESI TARSULAS EGYESULET Participant