LIFE Living Rivers Project - Belá

Living rivers – an exceptional project that will revive almost 350 km of Slovak rivers

The Research Institute of Water Management (VÚVH) in cooperation with 9 other partner organizations from Slovakia and the Czech Republic is launching a new project “Living Rivers” focused on the protection and restoration of rivers. Its goal is to improve the ecological condition of the Danube, Hron, Ipeľ and Belá rivers over the next 10 years.

The ecological condition of more than half of Slovak waterways is not good, rivers are suffering. The exceptional project “Living Rivers” (Živé rieky) improves the situation on 4 of them – Danube, Hron, Ipeľ and Belá, while experts from 10 state and non-state organizations are involved in its solution. Over the course of several years, experts will propose effective solutions, many of which will be implemented. In total, they will thus contribute to the improvement of the ecological condition of up to 344 kilometers of waterways in Slovakia.

The ten-year project requires the cooperation of many professional institutions. In addition to the Research Institute of Water Management, the Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic, Slovenský Vodohospodársky podnik, š. p., State Nature Protection of the Slovak Republic, Bratislava Regional Conservation Association (BROZ), WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature Protection) Slovakia, Catch me if you can o. z., Faculty of Fisheries and Water Protection of the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, Administration of the Tatra National Park and Water Management Construction, š. p.

Improving the ecological status of streams is not only important from the point of view of preserving biodiversity. Healthy streams provide many other benefits: from improving the self-cleaning ability of rivers and groundwater quality to sustainable flood protection. Last but not least, the recovery of the river network is essential for reasonable water retention in the country and increasing resistance to drought and climate change.

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