Reducing flood risk through floodplain restoration along the Danube River and tributariesUploaded: 10 of January, 2022
The main objective of the Danube Floodplain Interreg project focuses on the improvment of transnational water management and flood risk prevention while maximizing benefits for biodiversity conservation.

Danube Floodplain Interreg Project - ”Reducing the flood risk by examining the restoration of flood plains in the Danube river basin”.

Our research work belongs to Work package 4.3, Cost Benefit Analysis of Pilot areas integrating Ecosystem Service impacts. There were three separate tasks. (1) We developed a frame for the integrated analysis and for decision-support purposes. (2) As a pilot and test of the methodology the ess-extended cost-benefit analysis of the Fokorú-puszta dike relocation was conducted. (3) It was followed by a conceptual analysis that was focusing on the economic effects of shifting the Cibakháza-Tiszaföldvár floodplain area from its current status of intensive agricultural cultivation to a more extensive land management pattern.

The main results of the work:

(1), The developed extended CBA methodology is suitable for assessing changes, but assumes the use of quantitative flood risk assessment to provide the necessary inputs. The methodology takes a decision-support, not a decision-making approach. The results of the CBA outline the financial conditions for land-use agreements necessary to establish and maintain ecosystem services that also enable flood risk reduction. These agreements need to be put in place for the successful implementation. The set of indicators for 'non-deterioration' of natural capital the phase that precedes CBA can be used in the decision-support process when considering intervention options, but its practical application requires the enhanced combination of simulation solutions from several disciplines.

(2), The economic balance of the Fokorú puszta dike relocation is positive, with flood risk reduction being the major contributor, but other benefits significantly improve the balance. The results also reveal the land use dilemmas/opportunities that arise if the balance is to be further improved.

(3), The flood risk mitigation effect of additional areas attached to the river corridor in a floodplain widening project will depend largely on the location of the area. The most important lesson from the study of the Cibakháza-Tisza-Földvár floodplain is that apart from the impact on risk , in the long run, the greatest financial return for the landowner is the conversion of cropland to forest, given the changes in agricultural subsidies that have a decisive influence on land use and the potential value of carbon sequestration. This is a window of opportunity that is worth considering measures to exploit.