The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) requires member states, as well as acceding and candidate countries that have already adopted the law, to submit national river basin management plans (NRBMP) by the end of 2009. Transnational river basin management plans are additionally required for the large international river basins.
Countries in the Danube River Basin receive support from the Vienna-based International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR). As already pointed out in our article on the Lafnitz river (p. 14, ff), the preparation of national and transnational management plans alone will not be enough to meet the requirements of the WFD. Another matter still debated is to what size the smaller river basin management districts shall be broken down.
The Tisza River is expected to produce some basic results in this direction. This river, an important and international tributary of the Danube, forms a “sub-basin” within the meaning of the WFD. The region is confronted with numerous problems and yet has managed to preserve much of its pristine environment (read special section).
With respect to the preparation of a sub-basin management plan, the five Tisza riparian states – Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Ukraine and Hungary – have early recognised that the quality and quantity of water as well as climate change play a decisive role in the future development of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Water consumption, for instance, is expected to increase as the agricultural sector is regaining strength. An Integrated Tisza River Basin Management Plan (ITRBMP) is therefore needed in which these aspects are addressed as additional “significant water management issues”.
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(Source: aqua press Int. 4/2009, Mag. Christof Hahn)