Evaluation of melioration area damage on the river Danube caused by the hydroelectric power plant ‘Djerdap 1’ backwater

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Construction of the hydroelectric power plant (HPP) ‘Djerdap 1’ formed a backwater effect on the Danube and its tributaries, which had an inevitable influence on groundwater level, causing it to rise and thus creating additional threats to all melioration areas on more than 300 km of the Danube riversides, as well as on the riversides of its tributaries: the Sava (100 km) and the Tisa (60 km). In this paper, the HPP ‘Djerdap 1’ backwater effect on some characteristic melioration areas (34 in all) has been analyzed. In most of these areas intensive agricultural activity has always been present. An assessment of agricultural production damage was carried out by complex hydrodynamic calculations (60 calculation profiles) for different backwater regimes, with the aim to precisely quantify the HPP ‘Djerdap 1’ backwater effect on groundwater piezometric levels. Combining them with complex agroeconomic analyses, the aim is to quantify agricultural production damage and to consider the perspective of melioration area users. This method, which combines two different, but compatible, aspects of the melioration area threat assessment (hydrodynamic and agroeconomic), may present a quality base for further agricultural production threat assessment on all melioration areas on the Danube riversides, with the final aim to consider the economic effects and the importance of its further protection.

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