Two studies for the restoration of the Sava River and its floodplain published

Two brand-new studies for the revitalization of the Sava River and its floodplain have been published presented to key stakeholders from 19 to 22 September as part of the Sava Parks II - Freedom for Sava project.

Focus of the „Sava river restoration from Brežice to Rugvica“ study was a 53 km long river stretch where many problems for local society and biodiversity have been identified. Some of them are dropping groundwater levels, water sources at risk, unstable foundations of bridges and buildings, loss of natural riverine habitats. The solution is based on widening the river within existing embankments with activating bank erosion which would compensate the lack of sediment and regenerate groundwater levels and natural habitats. This procedure would create an attractive landscape which would significantly increase the touristic potential of this area. The study was developed by REVITAL Integrative Naturraumplanung GmbH (Austria). „The initial study for the Sava river restauration is opening a new perspective for improving the status of the river, connected groundwater levels as well as ensuring drinking water for the wider Zagreb area, all in line with nature", said Mr. Aljosa Duplic, the director of the Croatian Institute for Environment and Nature.

In the „Sava.Restore – Connecting the Floodplains for a Healthy Alluvial Forests” experts analyzed the ​​Bosut (Serbia) and Spačva forests (Croatia) – in total more than 70.000 ha of alluvial forest. The area suffers from decreasing groundwater, which results in forest diebacks. At the same time, it is an area with a very low altitude that could provide a wide retention area for flood waters. Bringing excess water from Sava to the forest would have a positive impact on the economy, biodiversity, flood prevention and climate resilience. This study was developed by E.C.O. (Austria). „The concept for the Spacva-Bosut forest is a interesting baseline study. It is known for some time that problems in the forest need to be addressed. Now it will be important for all stakeholders to exchange further to find the best option for restoring the area", said Bojan Tubic from the Public Enterprise Vojvodina Sume.

Summaries of both studies are already publicly available while full studies will be available within the next few weeks.

The project is financed by Aage V. Jensen Foundation.

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