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Reform Support
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Supporting reforms to transition to a green economy and fight climate change

Funding Programme
  • 2021

Strengthening water monitoring in Hungary

The Commission helped to contribute to the improvement of the soil and surface water status in Hungary on one hand, and to the implementation of sustainable water management practices across government bodies and policy areas on the other. The project has two separate workstreams: one concerns the agricultural utilisation of dredged sludge, and the other the improvement of water monitoring systems in Hungary.


Hungary's water management encounters a range of complex challenges including recurring droughts, erratic precipitation patterns, flood risks, and water quality issues, all exacerbated by climate change, necessitating immediate sustainable adaptation strategies. The interlinkage between water management and various policies such as environmental monitoring, agriculture, energy, and urban development poses implementation difficulties due to the involvement of multiple ministries and institutions.

Additionally, addressing problems like siltation and the disposal of dredged sludge onto agricultural land demands comprehensive legislative frameworks and sustainable agricultural practices, while the fragmented water monitoring framework and outdated networks call for a modernized and integrated approach to meet the ambitious water management goals outlined in Hungary's National Water Strategy and the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Support delivered

The project’s aim was on one hand to support the establishment of the necessary background for the agricultural utilisation of dredged sludge. In this workstream the project team has mapped the framework for the agricultural utilisation of dredged sludge; prepared a cost-benefit analysis and recommendations on financing opportunities; prepared a GIS analysis for the agricultural utilisation of dredged sludge; and created communication materials for farmers and experts in agriculture to promote the use of dredged sludge.

The goal under the second workstream was to connect the existing and operating databases with attention to the consistency of data quality. In order to achieve this, the project team made a diagnosis of the current situation of water monitoring and institutions; formulated policy options and recommendations on the development of Hungarian water monitoring and river basin management; prepared an action plan supporting the implementation of the preferred policy options and recommendations; and made an overview of available European programs for financing opportunities to support the development of the water monitoring framework.

Results achieved

The project supported the Hungarian beneficiaries in creating the regulatory framework under which dredged sludge can be utilised in agriculture. Moreover, the communication materials created in the project support both the farmers and the experts in agriculture to use dredged sludge on lands.

The recommended process created for the development of the RBMP monitoring system simplifies the process of data collection, database preparation, and reporting process contributing to a more efficient RBMP reporting process.

More about the project

You can read the final report here: