Environmental security in a post soviet Europe
Booth, David H.
Armstead, J. Holmes
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In 1997 the Czechoslovakian and Hungarian governments entered into a Treaty that called for a joint project to build two dams on the Danube river, one in Gabcikovo, Czechoslovakia and one in Nagymaros, Hungary. The original intent of the project was to provide a system of canals, reservoirs and locks to improve transportation on the river. The Czechoslovakia blocked and diverted he Danube River at Cunovo, Czechoslovakia causing an immediate negative environmental impact. The largest fresh water aquifer in the region lost more than two thirds of its water. The ground water level dropped by 12 feet contributing to the desertification of he region. The river flow was slowed, and in some areas stopped altogether, creating stagnate pools which were breeding grounds or disease. The natural filtration and cleansing capability of the river was harmed, increasing the level of pollution in both the river and the aquifer. Continued construction of the dams could have had lasting negative effects to the ecosystem in the region. The Hungarians ceased construction in 1989 sighting environmental degradation as their reason for discontinuing their part of the project. The Slovakian government subsequently took the Hungarians to court to resolve the issue.
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