Case study:Improving the structure of the Lahn-patak in Hungary

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Project overview

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Status Complete
Project web site
Themes Habitat and biodiversity
Country Hungary
Main contact forename Istvan
Main contact surname Nador
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation West-Transdanubian Water Management Directorate, Weideverein Ramsargebiet Lafnitztal
Contact organisation web site
Partner organisations
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encompassing the following
Improving the structure of the Lahn-patak in Hungary
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Project summary

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Over a length of 11 kilometres between Rabafüzes and Vasszentmihaly, 21 measures were carried out in the Lahn-patak. In this straight and biologically impoverished section of the Lahn-patak bends, bays and peninsulas were constructed so that the brook would have a winding course. Serpentine bends and curves were excavated in which the brook now flows. The remnants of the old straight bed were sometimes kept as backwaters, or were simply filled with soil to become peninsulas. The soil excavated from the new bends and bays was used to build these peninsulas. Gravel was used to create shores and islets in the new course of the brook. Along the banks trees and shrubs were planted, 15 metres deep along 10 kilometres, in order to provide shade for the brook.

Monitoring surveys and results

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Catchment and subcatchment


River basin district Danube River Basin District
River basin Lapincs (Lafnitz)


River name Láhn brook
Area category 100 - 1000 km²
Area (km2) 140 km²
14,000 ha
Maximum altitude category 100 - 200 m
Maximum altitude (m)
Dominant geology Calcareous
Ecoregion Hungarian Lowlands
Dominant land cover Intensive agriculture, Woodland
Waterbody ID


Name Láhn-patak
WFD water body codes AQE127
WFD (national) typology 9
WFD water body name
Pre-project morphology Single channel, Straight
Reference morphology Single channel, Sinuous, Pool-riffle
Desired post project morphology
Heavily modified water body Yes
National/international site designation International - RAMSAR site
Local/regional site designations
Protected species present No
Invasive species present No
Species of interest
Dominant hydrology Permanent lotic
Dominant substrate Gravel
River corridor land use Intensive agriculture (arable), Woodland
Average bankfull channel width category 2 - 5 m
Average bankfull channel width (m)
Average bankfull channel depth category 0.5 - 2 m
Average bankfull channel depth (m)
Mean discharge category
Mean annual discharge (m3/s)
Average channel gradient category
Average channel gradient
Average unit stream power (W/m2)

Project background

Reach length directly affected (m) 11000 m
11 km
1,100,000 cm
Project started 2004/01/01
Works started 2006/08/01
Works completed 2007/11/01
Project completed
Total cost category 50 - 100 k€
Total cost (k€)
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources LIFE (LIFE04 NAT/AT/000001), Őrség National Park Directorate, West-Transdanubian Water Management Directorate, WWF Hungary, Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society (MME)

Cost for project phases

Phase cost category cost exact (k€) Lead organisation Contact forename Contact surname
Investigation and design 50 - 100 k€ 56 k€
56,000 €
Stakeholder engagement and communication West-Transdanubian Water Management Directorate
Works and works supervision West-Transdanubian Water Management Directorate
Post-project management and maintenance West-Transdanubian Water Management Directorate
Monitoring West-Transdanubian Water Management Directorate

Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure Riparian development, Flood defence
Hydromorphology Quantity & dynamics of flow, Width & depth variation, Structure & condition of riparian zones
Biology Fish: Species composition, Invertebrates
Physico-chemical Nutrient concentrations
Other reasons for the project Landscape enhancement


Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications Reduction of bank slope, Deflectors, Planting, Creation of fish ladders, Depth variation
Floodplain / River corridor Creation of a lake
Planform / Channel pattern Re-instatement of old course, Adding sinuosity, Creation of meanders
Non-structural measures
Management interventions Ensuring biodiversity
Social measures (incl. engagement) Landscape, Improved public access
Other Information provision, Consultation


Hydromorphological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative
Continuity for organisms Yes Yes Yes Improvement
Width & depth variation Yes Yes Yes Improvement
Channel pattern/planform Yes Yes Yes Improvement
Structure & condition of riparian zones Yes Improvement

Biological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative
Fish: Species composition Yes Yes Yes Improvement
Invertebrates Yes Yes Yes Improvement

Physico-chemical quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Any other monitoring, e.g. social, economic

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Monitoring documents

Additional documents and videos

Additional links and references

Link Description Monitoring results Centre for Ecological Research HAS - The institute network of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is set to produce values for both national and international success in Hungarian and universal science. The Centre's primary aim is to play a fundamental role in promoting the common weal and in building the foundation for the future through valuable scientific achievements based on highly promising discovery research. The Centre consists of three institutes, the Balaton Limnological Institute, the Danube Research Institute and the Institute of Ecology and Botany. General Driectorate of Water Management - General Directorate of Water Management (OVF) is a background institution of the Ministry of Interior. It supports the work of the Minister regarding the flood management. Its main task is the coordination of flood hazard prevention, river control and flood protection activities, and the management of development projects concerning water bodies. OVF has 12 regional directorates which are coordinating the catchment management planning according to the requirements of the EU WFD. They take preventive and protective measures against floods, carry out status assessments and are the leading organizations in the management and implementation of river restoration projects. National Institute for Environment - The National Institute for Environment (NeKI) is a background institution of the Ministry of Rural Development, and assists the Minister in the various duties of water management, environmental protection and nature conservation. NeKI has 12 regional branch offices, and is in charge of the strategies, policies and regulations regarding the management and exploitation of water resources. It performs environmental monitoring, status and impact assessments, administrates the national network for hydrological, hydrographical, hydrogeological and quality measurements of public waters. NeKI also coordinates the planning and the implementation of national and EU projects. en.php National Inspectorate for Environment, Nature and Water - The Inspectorate attends to administrational and water management matters, to analyses and consideration of law proposals in its field, and it supervises its 10 regional inspectorates as well. It coordinates international co-operations and takes part in the tasks connected to the EU integration. The regional inspectorates and two sub-offices are the 'green authorities' at first instance. The regional inspectorates are responsible for registration, monitoring, protection, conservation, reconstruction, rehabilitation, authorization and penalty processes regarding environment, nature and water in their assigned territory. WWF Hungary - WWF Hungary is the Hungarian arm of the WWF Network and was founded in 1991. It's main aims are protecting the biodiversity of Hungary by focusing on freshwaters, forests and priority species. They are also fighting against climate change and they support WWF's conservation work as well. They participated in the development of the Danube Strategy, as well as organized conservation projects on Hungary's two largest rivers, the Tisza and the Danube. International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) - The ICPDR is an International Organisation consisting of 14 cooperating states and the European Union. Since its establishment in 1998, the ICPDR has grown into one of the largest and most active international bodies of river basin management expertise in Europe. The ICPDR deals not only with the Danube itself, but also with the whole Danube River Basin, which includes its tributaries and the ground water resources.

Supplementary Information

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