This post compliments the one previous (Nagykörü, Hungary).
Béla (left) and Péter (right)
Geographic setting of the Great Hungarian Plain, surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains to the north and east (image from WorldAtlas.com)
Map of historic (c. 1700s) areas inundated by floods within large sections of the Hungarian plain (right) and neighboring Danube River valley (left). Péter is pointing to his village, Nagykörú (big circle). He explains to me that the village would not, in fact, have been inundated by floods during this time since it was built on a high natural terrace (relict of an older floodplain).
The rise that the road follows is only 1-2 m higher than the surrounding land, but this is enough to be considered on "high" land, which was historically safe from floods.
The vision explained to us by Péter and Béla (of the Fok-Polder system), is to adapt human infrastructure and our own desires so they balance with the provisions of the natural environment, and to stop adapting/engineering nature to fit human needs by continuing to protect against floods with dikes alone. All that would be needed are strategically located sluices in the dikes, and appropriate land use changes.
One last statement offered by Péter: "What do you need to break a dike? ... a dike."
The Tisza River looking downstream (SE) from the ferry on the way back to Nagykörú.
Posted by Nathan Rossman