Towards a climate neutral EU:
efficient allocation of EU funds

Hydrotechnical works in the Niraj river basin, Mures county

Organisation: Focus Eco Center Website: Added: February 28, 2023
Project start date: May 01, 2015
Project end date: December 31, 2015


The project "Hydrotechnical works in the Niraj river basin, Mures county" was promoted in order to carry out hydrotechnical works for reducing the risk of flooding and preventing negative effects caused by them, having the technical-economic indicators approved by Government Decision no. 67/2014, technical-economic indicators which remain valid. The investment was considered part of the priority investments of water management and environmental infrastructure. The objective of the project is of social-economic priority and has as its aims to reduce the risk of flooding and prevent the effects of floods for the population and for the objectives of interest to the local population located in the flood zone of the Niraj River. Through the proposed objectives, the project intended to contribute to improving living standards of the population, environmental standards, the recovery of the economic activities specific to this region, reducing the risks of floods and to the fulfilment of Romania's environmental protection commitments, as a Member State of the European Union. The project holder is the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests and the beneficiary is the National Administration "Apele Române" - Mures Water Basin Administration. The location of the works is in the Mures River Basin, on the Niraj River, left tributary of the Mures River. The works proposed to be carried out between Miercurea Nirajului and the estuary of the river with non-reimbursable external funds post-EU POS Environment were: new dykes and retaining walls L= 8,880 km; shore reinforcement L= 16,925 km; raising of dykes L= 30,204 km. According to the press release from 9 December 2015, the results of the project are:nNew dykes and retaining walls, raising of existing dykes, reinforcements, rehabilitation of Miercurea Nirajului hydrotechnical node.

Financial data

Total: 67.070.870 lei (15.000.000 EURO) Operational Program Environment (Programul Operaţional Sectorial Mediu)


This project as the majority of the water regulation projects create a conflict between the so called security of the population and the preservation of the natural eco-systems. The classical water management practices (water regulations) aims to „save” the population from the floods (a danger represented by nature), causing important changes in the hydro morphology and the ecosystem of the rivers. In this way they reduce also the ecosystem services of the river. This project is a typical example for this situation. The Niraj River source is in Ghiurghiu mountains and in first part is a rapid river and its alluvium consists of coarse gravel. After Miercurea Nirajului (in the middle and lower part of the basin) the bottom of the valley becomes 1.6 km wide and from here the river has meanders. This broad valley persists (in some sectors it is 2 km large) which is unusually large for a river with such a small water output (average 3,6 m3/s). It is characteristic that in the case of floods the water output it is much higher than the annual average (the maximum water output was 330 m3/s in May 14, 1970). During the floods in the flooded area lime was deposited, and due to the lime and the rich nutrients, the soil of the flood plain is very suitable for the production of vegetables. This part of the Niraj River valley is being named the “Carrot Country” and traditionally the water management was linked with the production structure of vegetables in the fertile lime. In the 70s during the first regulation of the river several meanders were cut and traditional agricultural system, which was based on vegetables was changed to production of crops. The works from this project continued the regulation of the river, taking in consideration only the protection of the population from flood and used technics which didn’t take in consideration other elements. We recommend in future for similar projects:

- Use technics and practices which combine the flood protection with the needs of the nature in order to improve the ecosystem services

- Take in consideration the actual situation of the climate change and water shortage and create systems which retain the water and increase the resilience of the system (wetlands)

- Take in consideration the traditional agricultural practices of the local population and support the local agricultural systems which can be combined with the water management

- Take in consideration the different needs of the local population, for example the access to water and recreation, and involve much better as it was realized in this project the local population in the planning process.

Information sources

Other info

European Climate Initiative (EUKI)
This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.