Banat Watershed Area - Inundatii
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Banat Watershed Area

Banat Watershed Area is located to the South-Western part of the country, bordering to the North on Mures River Basin, to the West on Serbia, to the East on Mures River Basin and Jiu Watershed Area, to the South on the Danube.

Where is it located?

In administrative terms, Banat Watershed Area includes the territories of five counties, namely: Timis and Caras-Severin counties, fully and partially the counties of Arad, Gorj and Mehedinti. The total population identified in 2018 is of around 1,109,183 inhabitants, the population density being of 61 inhabitants/km2. The main urban agglomerations are: Timisoara, Resita, Lugoj, Caransebes and Orsova.

The total area of Banat Watershed is of 18,312.20 sq. km, representing a ratio of 7.68% from the county area. The hydrographic network includes 389 surveyed water courses (of which 19 have areas of less than 10 sq. km), with a total length of 6,700 km and an average density of 0.36 km/sq. km. On the Romanian territory, Banat watershed area includes the sub-basins: Aranca with 9 coded tributaries, Timis with 149 coded tributaries, Bega with 79 coded tributaries, Caras with 30 coded tributaries, Nera with 35 coded tributaries, Cerna with 41 coded tributaries and 40 tributaries of the Danube.

Relief of the river basin

Banat watershed area features the presence of all landforms, with the altitude decreasing from South-East to North-West.

Maximum altitudes are to be found in Godeanu Mountains (2,229 m), on the watershed between Cerna and Mures River Basins. Cernei Mountains, with the maximum altitude in Banat Watershed area of 1,928 meters (Dobrii Summit), features a high elevation level, a relief energy of 400-700 meters generating a rapid flow of the rivers. Mehedinti Mountains guard the Eastern part of Cerna River Basin and have the maximum altitude in Banat Watershed Area of 1,229 meters (Coltul Pietrei) and of 1,105 meters (Domogled). Mehedinti Mountains continue with Mehedinti Plateau, a piedmont with lower altitudes. To the Central and Southern part of Banat Watershed Area there are Banatului Mountains, which, though with a lower altitude (maximum altitude of 1446 m), have a significant input to the area hydrographic network. Semenicului Mountains are characterized by a gentle landscape, and the landscape fragmentation varies between 600-700 m. Aninei Mountains, stretching to the South-West of Semenic Mountains are a lower elevation, with the maximum altitude in the basin of 1,160 m (Leordis Summit). To the North-West of Aninei Mountains, there are Dognecei Mountains (the maximum attitude of 617 m in Cula Armenisului Summit). Almajului Mountains (1,224 m in Svinecea Mare Summit) and Locvei Mountains (Corhanu Mare Summit of 735 m) complements the alpine landscape of Banat. Poiana Rusca Mountains (the maximum altitude in Pades Summit -1,374 m), with average altitudes of 700 m, stretch to the North of the tectonic corridor of Bistra. The landscape fragmentation varies between 500-700 m.

Hilly peaks are separated by many intra-mountain depressions: Almaj, Ezeris, Mehadica and by tectonic corridors: Timis-Cerna Corridor, Bistra Corridor. Hills (Lipovei Hills, Sacos-Zagujeni Hills, Tirolului Hills, Oravitei Hills, Bozoviciului Hills) have a relatively limited distribution across river basins in Banat watershed area. As an extension of the mountains and with decreasing altitudes from East to West, Banat piedmonts have altitudes ranging between 170 and 800 m, and the landscape fragmentation is between 50-300 m.

Banatului Plain covers approximately 50% of the area of Banat watershed, being a low-lying plain (minimum altitude of 77 m in the border area), which, in its center, up to the arrangement of Timis-Bega interfluve, was a large marshy area. The relief of the plain sector crossed by Banat river has certain peculiarities, such as progressive elevation decrease to the East-West, each of these steps representing stages of water stagnation from the withdrawing Panonic Lake. Between the localities Bazias and Gura Vaii, there is a distinct geomorphological unit, the Danube Gorge, the most spectacular European gorge, with a total length of 134 km.

The land use in Banat watershed area is influenced by physical and geographical conditions, as well as by anthropic factors, and it has the following distribution: 28.25% forests, 61.37 % agricultural area, 3.49 % area occupied by water and wetlands, 6.89% constructions.

Climate of the river basin

In climate terms, Banat watershed area has a moderate temperate continental climate with sub-Mediterranean influences, which is the result of overlapping circulation of Atlantic air masses with Mediterranean air massive inflows. This climate generates the mild character of the thermal regime, warming periods during wintertime, as well as relatively high average multiannual precipitation between 600-1,400 mm/ year. The territorial distribution of temperatures is characterized by a significant unevenness: in the plain area, average multiannual temperatures range between 10-11 degrees Celsius, and in the alpine area, they reach -2 degrees Celsius.

Total water resources

The total surface water resources in Banat watershed area amount to approx. 3380 mil cubic meters/year, of which usable resources are of about 39.2 mil m3/year. They represent around 12% of the total resources and are mainly formed by the rivers Timis, Bega, Barzava, Caras, Nera, Cerna and their tributaries. In Banat watershed area, there are 9 major reservoirs (having an area of more than 0.5 sq. km), with a complex use and totaling a useful volume of 290 mil. cubic meters.

Banat River Basin is made, at its turn, of the following basins:

Aranca River Basin

Aranca River is 76 km long on the Romanian territory and also runs another 41 km up to its mouth to the Danube-Tisa-Danube Canal. It has its sources from the South-West of Arad municipality, after which it starts running towards the West, across Timis county.

Bega River Basin

Bega River is located to the Western part of the country and has a general orientation towards East-West. Bega River begins in Apuseni Carpathians (Poiana Rusca Mountains) and it has a length (up to the border) of 170 km.

Timis River Basin

Timis River is located to the Western part of the country, with a general orientation towards East–West. Timis River begins in Southern Carpathians (Semenic Mountains) and is 244 km long on the Romanian territory.

Caras River Basin

Caras River is located to the South-Western part of the country and has an orientation towards North East –South West. Caras River begins, just like Timis river, in Southern Carpathians (Semenic Mountains) and is 72 km long on the Romanian territory.

Nera River Basin

Nera River is located to the South-Western part of the country and has a general orientation towards East–West. Nera River begins in Southern Carpathians (Semenic Mountains) and flows directly into the Danube. The length of its course is of 143 km.

Cerna River Basin

Cerna River is located to the Southern part of the country, having the general orientation towards the North-South. Cerna River begins in Southern Carpathians (Valcan Mountains), is 79 km long and it flows directly into the Danube.

Description of existing flood protection works

Banat Watereshed area has hydrotechnical works with a role in the quantitative management of water resources, including embankments, regularizations, diversions for feeding water volumes from one river into another, permanent and non-permanent reservoirs. A main feature of this area is that Banat is the geographical area with the largest number of embankments in Romania. The most significant part of flood protection works are carried out in the river basins of Bega and Timis (550 km embankments and 480 km regularizations, the defended area being of 230,000 ha). Such works also include the high water diversion (wasteway) Bega – Timis – intended for flood protection of Timisoara municipality and of localities adjacent to Bega canal downstream Topolovat.

As major flood protection works in Banat watershed area there are 29 non-permanent reservoirs, totaling a volume intended for flood alleviation of 211 mil. cubic meters, 1,118 km of dikes, 1,037 km of riverbed regularizations and 150 km bank defenses. Reservoirs with a complex use are foreseen with a flood alleviation volume totaling around 69,6 mil. cubic meters.

On the territory of Banat watershed area, 8 dams of category A and B, respectively 55 dams of category C and D are operational.

Flood records

As areas subject to floods, the following are known in the upper basin of Bega river and its tributaries, Bega Veche and tributaries, Timiṣ up to Lugoj and tributaries, Barzava between Resita and Gataia, Caras and Nera. The flood records on Timis river begins in 1753, when the first significant flood occurred, which caused the first arrangement projects to be developed for Bega and Timis basins. Yet, the most significant flood occurred in Banat was in July 1859 with serious negative consequences. The 20th century brings along extreme hydrological events. One should also mention floods occurred in 1912, 1966, 1999.

In the 21st century, one should note the extreme events occurred in 2000, 2005, 2006 and respectively in 2010. In 1966, there were floods across the entire Banat watershed area, ending with the breach of the defense dike on Timiṣ river, left bank, close to the locality of Gad. As a known cause of these floods was the large quantity of precipitations recorded across the entire area. This exceptional flood generated peak discharges of 1,100 cubic meters/s in Lugoj and of 1,416 cubic meters /s in Sag.

Floods from February 1999 had a pluvial and nival origin and occurred in the river basins Bega Veche, Bega – middle and lower basin, Timis – lower basin, Poganis, Moravita, Barzava – middle and lower basin. In 2000, given the presence in the alpine and hilly area of a thick layer of snow, in addition to which significant quantities of rainfalls were recorded (120 mm in 24 hours) led to the overflowing in non-arranged areas and breach of the dike of Timis river, left bank, near the locality of Graniceri, causing the flooding of extended areas of land on the left bank of the main river. In April 2005, there was a pluviometric excess recorded in particular in Banat. In most meteorological stations in Banat, the old monthly records were exceeded in terms of water amount recorded. These precipitations, alongside with the input from snowmelt, caused in Timis basin a compound flood wave, with a main peak and other secondary peaks preceding or following the main peak. Thus, there were exceptional floods caused by dike breach on the right bank of Timis. On the Romanian territory, they affected extended areas of land, near the localities Otelec, Iohanisfeld, Foeni and Cruceni. In 2006, in April, quantities of precipitations exceeded the multiannual average (10.4 mm in Cebza up to 28.6 mm in Gataia). The nature of precipitations and water quantities recorded led to the formation of a single-wave flood on most of the water courses, resulting in the exceedance of defense levels.

Contact Banat RBA

Address: B-dul Mihai Viteazul nr. 32, Timisoara

Central office phone: 0256 491848; 0256 491 843; 0256 491849

Management Secretary’s Office: 0256 492097

Fax: 0256 491798