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Visegrád Festival

Polish, Ukranian, and Hungarian students explored Hungarian water management issues within an international project at the Faculty of Agricultural, Food Science and Environmental Management of the University of Debrecen.

Professors and students came to the Faculty of Agriculture of Debrecen from the Agricultural University of Krakow, Poland, and the University of Water and Environmental Engineering of the Ukraine in  the framework of the project Sustainable Water Management and Water Safety in the countries of the V4 group and the Ukraine. The purpose of the international programme is to familiarize students of water manegement studies in the Visegrad 4 countries: the Chech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia as well as the Ukraine with the challenges of sustainable water management.

Students, agricultural engineers, environmental engineers, and food engineers from several departments  of the Faculty of Agricultural, Food Science and Environmental Management of the University of Debrecen joined the programme: The participants were welcomed by István Komlósi, Dean of the faculty, at the meeting organised in Debrecen on 24 May under the name Visegrad Festival.

- Priorities in the water management of the respective countries are rather different. While in Poland the greatest problems are caused by floods due to the big rivers and extensive river basins, in the Ukraine there is enhanced drought risk. In Hungary both  drought and inland inundation  pose heightened risks, -  highlighted Elza Kovács, associate professor of the Institute for Water and Environmental management of  the Faculty of Agricultural, Food Science and Environmental Management.

In her presentation the expert highlighted the challenges involved in Hungarian water management and stressed that, as 90% of all suface water flows of Hungary reach across our borders, international cooperation is of paramount importance.

- Clearance of original acquatic habitats and catchment areas In Alföld, the great Hungarian plain, formerly took place due to flood risk, which in turn,  was accompanied by increased drought risk here. The area threatened by floods in Hungary today is about 20 thousand square kilometres , 75% of which can be found in the catchment area of the river Tisza, with inland inundation affecting 60% of  low-lying areas, added  Elza kovács.

The most recent innovations and managerial solutions of the field of irrigation technology, made especially important by drought. were presented to students by Gyula Szabó, head of department of KITE Zrt. Csaba Bozán, head of department of the National Agricultural Research and Innnovation Centre reported on the possibilities of flood control to participants of the Visegrad Festival.

The events gave an overview of the short and mid-term programmes of water management in Hungary including the Basin Management Plan, which set as its goal to provide water bodies with adequate ecological condition by 2027.

Following the lectures, representatives of the partner countries participated in a round table  talk involving students, too, for whom  a photo competition had been launched within the framework of the project, in the theme of  the relationship between water management and agriculture. The 15 entries were evaluated by an international jury , and the first prize went to Rebeka Bakos, BSc student of environmental management from Debrecen.

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