Inland excess water in Csongrád county, Hungary and in Vojvodina, Serbia

Inland excess water is a serious hazard and represents a contemporary problem in Hungary, particularly in Csongrád County and in Serbia, especially in its northern part, the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina. After periods of heavy rainfall, large areas are covered with redundant water. This water is not flowing down to lower areas due to the topography of the terrain. For several reasons, for example due to very high groundwater levels or impermeable soils, it can also not infiltrate into the soil. The inundations are causing large economic, social and environmental problems. 


Inundations from ground level (left) and from aerial view (right)

Inland excess water is a serious hazard in several lowland European countries. However, the international scientific community considers it as a true Carpathian Basin problem both from a natural and a social point of view. In Hungary the usual annual damage caused by inland excess water is approximately 100-150 M €, however in years with exceptionally large inundated areas, the financial loss can be up to 500 M €. The May and Nov-Dec 2010 rainfall also caused inland excess water inundations on an area of resp. 167 000 and 300 000 ha and by 7 June, 2010, extensive damage was caused not only to agriculture but also to transportation and tourism.

 Project area

 Inland excess water protection levels
(9 Dec 2010, VÍZÜGY)

In Vojvodina Province, huge agricultural areas and settlements are affected by inland excess water floods. In the year 1999 and 2010 more than 100.000 ha were inundated by inland excess water and more than 400.000 ha agricultural and settlement areas were endangered. In the municipality of Kikinda, the agricultural damage was approximately 22 M € in 2010. Both in Serbia and in Hungary, the public attention to inland excess water hazard has increased and this may lead to more resources being concentrated on the development of a warning and information system.

The project aims to find answers to four interrelated questions with the means of both fundamental and applied research in the Marosszög and Banat areas during the 24 months time period. First, we are intended to examine the formation of the different types of inland excess waters (Barta 2004, 2005, Barta et al. 2010, Kiss 2009, Rakonczai et al. 2001). Second, we would like to find and test a novel methodology for the field mapping of inundations, which includes the verification of the test sites by remotely sensed data, in order to evaluate their use in excess water protection works (van Leeuwen et al. 2009, Mucsi et al. 2008,2009, Rakonczai et al. 2001,2003, Tobak et al. 2008). Third, we plan to create a central place where all spatial and other data that is relevant to inland excess water analysis will be stored (Szatmári et al. 2010, Tobak et al. 2010). Finally, we will set up an excess water risk model, with which the formation of some genetic inland excess water types can be modeled (van Leeuwen et al. 2010), and actions can be taken. Results will significantly help the water management authorities and the affected population to take both preventive and operative action (Mezősi et al. 2000).

An inland excess water monitoring well system will be developed consisting of 50 acoustic monitoring sensors that will collect data on the dynamics of the groundwater in the study areas. The groundwater data will be integrated into a geostatistical modeling system to derive very detailed underground water surface maps. The purpose of the study is to visualize the large scale sedimentological heterogeneity by mapping the underground water table.

High resolution digital remote sensing data will be collected and processed. Satellite images and stereo aerial photos will be classified to derive detailed inland excess water maps. Traditional classification methods, new geoinformatical methods and geographic information systems will be combined to describe the surface water movement.

An advanced, airplane based system to acquire CIR digital imagery in the visible to near infra red wavelengths is being developed. Within an hour the system can be deployed to acquire high resolution digital images of inland excess water against very competitive costs.

An inland excess water spatial data infrastructure and internet based map publication service will be developed to store inland excess water data. This data set will consist of existing paper map and digital data, like inland excess occurrences maps, soil maps, aerial photo graphs and satellite images of the Hungarian and Serbian. A rigid metadata structure, following INSPIRE guidelines will be set up. The data from the SDI will be published using web map services to stakeholders.

Hazard maps of inland excess water will be created of areas that are vulnerable to inland excess water. This information will be combined with the use of the environment at those areas resulting in inland excess water risk maps. These maps will identify areas where inland excess water will cause large damage measured in financial or other type of loss. This quantitative assessment can be used for the formulation of spatial planning policy options to reduce or mitigate the destruction caused by inundations. Policies could shift from a defensive-type of water management strategy towards a more pro-active, action based strategy. Furthermore inland excess water defensive strategies can be streamlined with EU directives.

The project will result in strong scientific co-operation between the project partners during the project period and afterwards as well. Furthermore the project outputs will support organizations and will result in increased public awareness.



Barta K. (2004): Modelling Infiltration on Arable Lands. Journal of Hungarian Geomathematics. Vol. 2. pp. 16-24.

Barta K. (2005): A szántóföldi beszivárgás-lefolyás modellezése. Földrajzi Értesítő 54/1-2. pp. 167-173.

Barta K., J. Szatmári, 2010: Antropogén hatások a belvíz-képződésben. Esettanulmány az M5 autópálya szatymazi szakaszának talajvízáramlásban betöltött szerepér"ol. Hidrológiai Közlöny 90/2. pp. 23-25.

Kiss T., B. Benyhe, 2009: Geomorfológia és a belvízi elöntés kapcsolatának vizsgálata egy mindszenti mintaterületen. Hidrológiai Közlöny, 89/3, 14-19.

van Leeuwen, B., Z. Tobak, J. Szatmári, L. Mucsi, G. Kitka, K. Fiala, J. Rakonczai,

G.Mezősi, 2009, Small Format Aerial Photography: a Cost Effective Approach for Visible, Near Infrared and Thermal Digital Imaging. In: A. Car, G. Griesebner, J. Strobl (eds.), Geospatial Crossroads @ GI_Forum' 09, Proceedings of the Geoinformatics Forum Salzburg, Heidelberg, 2009, pp. 200-209.

van Leeuwen B., Z. Tobak, J. Szatmári, K. Barta, 2010: Új módszerek alkalmazása a belvizek keletkezésének vizsgálatában és monitorozásában. Térinformatikai Konferencia és Szakkiállítás "Az elmélet és gyakorlat találkozása", 10-11 június 2010, Debrecen. pp. 121-130.

Mezősi G. – Mucsi L. – Szatmári J. 2000. Flood analysis using areial photography. GEOEUROPA 9: (3) pp. 37-38

Mucsi, L., Z. Tobak, B. van Leeuwen, J. Szatmári, F. Kovács, 2008, Combined multi- and hyperspectral analysis of spatial and temporal changes of the urban environment, Presented at AGILE 2008 Conference, 5 - 8 May 2008, Girona, Spain

Mucsi L., J. Unger, L. Henits, 2009: A beépítettség és a városi hősziget kapcsolatrendszerének vizsgálata geoinformatikai módszerekkel Szegeden, Földrajzi Közlemények 2009. 133. 4. pp. 411-429.

Rakonczai J.; Mucsi L.; Szatmári J.; Kovács F.; Csató Sz. 2001. A belvizes területek elhatárolásának módszertani lehetőségei. I. Magyar Földrajzi Konferencia előadásai. CD kiadvány (ISBN 9634825443), Szeged

Rakonczai J. - Csató Sz. - Mucsi L. - Kovács F. - Szatmári J.: Az 1999. és 2000. évi alföldi belvízelöntések kiértékelésének gyakorlati tapasztalatai - Vízügyi Közlemények Különszám - Tisza-völgyi ár- és belvizek a XX. és XXI. század fordulóján. IV. kötet: Elemzõ és módszertani tanulmányok az 1998-2001. évi ár- és belvizekrõl, VITUKI 2003. (szerk.: Szlávik L.) pp. 317-336.

Szatmári József – Van Leeuwen Boudewijn –Tobak Zalán – Rakonczai János – Mucsi László – Unger János – Gál Tamás – Fiala Károly – Németh Csaba, 2010: Légi távérzékeléses módszerrel támogatott hőtérképezés Szegeden. Térinformatikai Konferencia és Szakkiállítás "Az elmélet és gyakorlat találkozása" 2010.június 10-11. Debrecen. pp. 321-328.

Tobak Z., Kitka G., Szatmári J., van Leeuwen B., Mucsi L. 2008. Kisgépes, kisformátumú CIR légifelvételek készítése, feldolgozása és alkalmazása környezeti vizsgálatokban. IV. Magyar Földrajzi Konferencia tudományos közleményei. CD kiadvány


Summary (scientific papers) of problems related with inland excess water in Vojvodina

Even Vojvodina Province has good drain channel network, still huge agricultural and settlement areas are affected by inland excess water floods. In 1942 more than 400.000ha was flooded and in year 1956 approximately 230.000ha was affected by inland excess waters. During the seventies, almost 130.000ha of agricultural areas were affected by inland excess water floods (year 1970 – 127.000ha; year 1975 – 128.000ha). In the year 1980 inland excess water floods extended on 146.700ha. In the year 1999 more than 110.000ha are under inland excess waters and more than 400.000ha agricultural and settlement areas are under endangered.



Škorić M. 2000. Uzroci poplava od unutrašnih voda u Vojvodini. Zbornik radova sa savetovanja: Poplave od unutrašnjih voda, Poljoprivredni fakultet, Institut za uređenje voda, Novi Sad.

Mijatović, B. et al. 1995. Hidrotehničke melioracije u Vojvodini. Monografija, Poljoprivredni fakultet, Institut za uređenje voda, Novi Sad.


Summary (from press and TV media) of problems related with inland excess water in Vojvodina


Sečanj municipality, inner excess water floods, the drain channels are not in functions, serious damages on houses

MAY 2010:

Rusko Selo village, inner excess water floods (200 ha), the drain channels are not in functions, serious damages on 50 houses, the few millions RSD or more is the estimated damage

Nova Crnja municipality, 1000ha under the excess water (flood), huge damages on agricultural crops

Novi Kozarci, Banatska Topola and Banatsko Veliko Selo villages (Kikinda municipality), huge damages on agricultural crops

JUNE 2010:

Zrenjanin, Nova Crnja, Kikinda and Sombor municipalities, intensive inner excess water floods

Futog village (Novi Sad City), many houses are occupied by inner excess water

Vojvoda Stepa village (Nova Crnja municipality), all objects in village are under the inner excess water

Novi Crnja municipality (25000ha municipality agricultural area), 16000ha agricultural areas are occupied by inner excess water and the damages on all crops is approximately 50%

Žitište minicipality (46000ha agricultural area), 70% of agricultural area is occupied by inner excess water, the villages Srpski Itebej, Torda and Hetin are also in jeopardy by inner water floods

JULY 2010:

Kikinda municipality, 670 houses are damaged and 14000ha (of 70000ha agricultural land) of crops areas are destroyed by inner excess water floods

Apatin municipality, 3500ha of agricultural lands are occupied by inner water floods, the 200 milions RSD is the estimated damage

AUGUST 2010:

Bečej municipality, 2300ha agricultural area is damaged by inner waters and the estimated damage is 200 milions RSD


Novi Bečej municipality, 300 houses are jeopardized and the estimated damage are RSD


Kikinda municipality, more than 700 houses are damaged by inner excess water flood


Articles about inland excess water in Serbian online media

Newspaper PRESS

Newspaper BLIC

Newspaper NOVOSTI

TV clip

Magyar Szó ( )

TV Vojvodina ( 10 11 12 - 13 14 )