Gabčíkovo–Nagymaros Dams  

Here the dam located on the Danube, the border river between Slovakia and Hungary (Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the People's Republic of Hungary at the time when it was first conceived and constructed), told a story of built objects on waterbody became the control room of natural resources, which due to its location came along with energy and economic interests that further invoked the political wrestling within two regimes.

In 1977, two socialist countries CSSR and PRH signed the Budapest Treaty, in which they agreed on building a barrage project on the Danube river. Providing year-long inland navigation and hydraulic power extraction, the project contained two separated structures in Gabčíkovo (CSSR) and Nagymaros (PRH) that required 200 km of canalization and embankment on the Danube river.1 The original plan was to build a weir at Dunakiliti that diverted the Danube into Slovak territory and creating an alternative channel for a hydraulic power plant (Kraftwerk Gabčíkovo) and navigation canal. Further downstream a smaller dam would be constructed in the Danube Bend. Both construction fee and generated power were agreed to share between the two equally. However, in the late-1980s, the Hungarian government unilaterally announced to postponed the project as a result of “environmental concerns”2, while the other side of the river wanted to continue. The Czechoslovak government already finished 85 to 90 percent of the work, persisted in completing the project of building a canal parallel to the Danube river. As a result, a new plan called Variant C was brought up on the table and was implemented in the end. This new plan moved the Dunakiliti dam upstream and relocated to Čunovo, where the border started.

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Project scheme in three different stages: original river topology (fig. 1), project design after 1977 Treaty (fig. 2), and “Variant C”, also the one implemented (fig. 3)

Sources: Gabčíkovo–Nagymaros Project (Hungary / Slovakia), Judgment, I. C. J. Reports 1997, p. 16, 18, 23.

  1. Wikipedia contributors. "Kraftwerk Gabčíkovo." In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. n.d.
  2. "BŐS-NAGYMAROS WATER PIPE SYSTEM: WILL THERE BE A SOLUTION ?!,", October 11, 2007, Translation by Google; provided by Wayback Machine.