“We can’t live without water”
Due to poor water regulation practices and climate change, the Niraj valley in Romania suffers from water scarcity. Local people in association with the municipality of Galesti and the organization Focus Eco Center started a wetland restoration project. First, the identification of former lakes and wetlands that were dried out was conducted.
Different techniques to restore these 9 lakes and wetlands were tested, and only natural materials, such as wood, stones and argillaceous soil were used. Wetland restoration resulted in several benefits: regulation of the water cycle, retention of water and increase of ground water levels, micro-climate regulation, biodiversity and habitat for wildlife increase, water for agriculture.
One restoration work was linked to another project of Galesti: the realization of a recreational area, which had multiple benefits. In this case, after the regulation works on the Niraj river, one meander was cut from the river. The water level of the river was about 4 m lower as the meander level. The soil from the dried meander was extracted and used to create a park and a sport area. The former meander was then filled with water, creating a lake used for fishing and bird watching. Due to the new water surface, the ground water levels increased and the surrounding wells don’t dry out anymore during summers, being used for animals and growing vegetables instead. This is important because for many years after the regulation of the Niraj river, the river water level was lower than ground water, preventing the wells from being alimented with water. This project, by fixing that issue, was very appreciated by the local community.
"Thanks to the local restauration works, I can now water my fields as much as needed."
by local farmer