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Just Released – New Report on Shared Vision Planning for Europe’s Tisza River Basin

Published April 21, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.   The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Institute for Water Resources (IWR) just released a report on the use of a multilateral Shared Vision Planning (SVP) Risk-Informed pilot study within Europe’s Tisza River Basin.  As part of the European Union’s (EU) Water Framework Directive, a partnership of interested river basin stakeholders (known as JOINTISZA) received EU funds to lead a river basin planning process for the Tisza River, a major tributary of the Danube whose watershed is shared by five countries:  Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine, Serbia and Romania.  As part of this river basin planning process, the JOINTISZA organizers wanted to test the use of USACE’s Shared Vision Planning (SVP) process in the basin by conducting a pilot on a subarea of the basin (the Tisza-Körös-Valley common water management system or TIKEVIR) that focuses on flood risk management and considers climate change impacts.

From June 2017 through September 2018, USACE provided technical assistance on SVP to JOINTISZA for the river basin plan.  SVP is a collaborative approach to water planning that combines traditional water resources planning, structured participation, and collaborative computer modelling.  Application of the Collaborative Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA) approach added risk-informed aspects to this SVP process.  

USACE technical assistance on international water security promotes regional alliances and stability, which help minimize disruptions and conflicts over water management.  SVP builds good will, improves the ability of local partners to engage with the public on water issues, promotes trans-national partnerships in the region that encourage improved trans-boundary water management.  USACE’s well-received technical assistance supported the larger JOINTISZA river basin study, providing a model of the SVP process for other basins throughout the EU.  It will directly influence current and future activities by Hungary’s Middle Tisza Water Management District. 

This just-released IWR report discusses conceptual foundations of the JOINTISZA technical assistance, technical details of the events, and lessons learned from these events.  These lessons learned are grouped under the topics of: building mutual awareness of USACE capabilities and COCOM needs; supporting an EU-funded activity; funding challenges; and applying SVP.

The report also presents five recommendations regarding USACE water security initiatives and technical assistance based on lessons learned in the JOINTISZA experience.  The recommendations are not directed to any specific individual or unit within the USACE.  Rather, they are directed more generally to USACE leadership for their consideration in future joint technical activities.  To see these recommendations and more, download the full report available (for free!) from the IWR Library.

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