National Union of Water Management Associations, VTOSZ
The VTOSZ was established in 1992. It functions as a spokesman, service provider and employers federation for its members. The members of the VTOSZ cover the whole Hungarian area.
The first union of Hungarian Water boards was established in 1846. Since then, a lot has changed. The change in 1990 in political regime in Hungary lead to a privatization of agricultural grounds. This gave a new incentive to local water management.
Currently, members of the water boards are farmers, municipalities and cooperatives. They pay a certain fee for the services delivered by the water board. In addition to this, the ministry of agriculture subsidizes the board. A major challenge is to make the water boards self-financing. Due to huge changes in property rights in the past, when land was given back to the original inhabitants by the state, a lot of land is not claimed yet. Water boards are therefore not able to derive income from these lands.
In total, there are 82 water boards in Hungary. They cover the whole Hungarian area. Their position is described in the 1995 Water Act of Hungary.
Their main tasks are:
- Operation of canals and water courses
- Protection against floods
- Operation of irrigation channels and pumps
- Construction and operation of small reservoirs
- Drainage of small settlements
- Construction and maintenance of drainage canals
The public tasks as performed by the water boards are financed by the Ministry for Agriculture and Rural development and local stakeholders: farmers, cooperatives, cities and municipalities. Moreover, water boards perform semi-commercial tasks which contributes to the budget.
Facts and figures
|Total interest area||8 000 000 hectare|
|Average size of a water board area||100 000 hectares|
|Lengths of operated canals and water courses||38 000 km|
|Number of pumping stations||310|
|Total income of water boards||12 900 000 000 HUF|
|Income derived from local taxations and fees||2 000 000 000 HUF|
|Support by the government||4 900 000 000 HUF|
|Semi-commercial activities||6 000 000 000 HUF|