Mures River Basin - Inundatii
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Mures River Basin

Mures River Basin is located to the Central and Western part of Romania and situated in the space delineated by the Eastern, Southern Carpathians and Apuseni, and its lower sector is in the core of Tisa Plain. In Romania, it borders on the following river basins/watershed areas:  Siret, Olt,  Jiu,  Banat, Crisuri and Somes-Tisa.

Where is it located?

The River Basin stretches on the full or partial area of the counties: Mures, Alba, Cluj, Bistrita-Nasaud, Harghita, Brasov, Sibiu, Hunedoara, Arad, Timis. At the river basin level, there are: 16 cities, 23 towns, 303 communes and 1,780 villages. In 2011, the total population existing on the territory of Mures River Basin was of 1,877,642 inhabitants. In the urban area, at the level of the river basin, there are 1,052,037 inhabitants, and in the rural area, there are 825,605 inhabitants. Among the most important urban agglomerations, we mention: Arad, Targu Mures, Hunedoara, Deva, Alba – Iulia, Medias, Turda, Odorheiu Secuiesc, Reghin, Sighisoara, Campia Turzii, Cugir etc.



Relief of the river basin

Mures River Basin includes all landforms. The relief has a wide variety from plain to mountains (the minimum altitude is of 80m, at the country limit, in the Western Plain, and the maximum one of 2509m, in Retezat Mountains).

Approximately 25% of the basin area is occupied by mountains, 55% by hills and plateaus, 15% by valleys and floodplains and 5% by plains. The physical and geographical ensemble is characterized by the existence of several relief units: the Carpathian Mountain Unit, the Transylvania Plateau Unit, the Piedmont Unit, the Plain Unit.

Climate of the river basin

Mures River Basin is located in the continental-moderate climate sector with warm summers and long and cold winters, mainly in the alpine areas to the North-Eastern part of the basin, and to the West, the climate has aridity influences, with more draughty and warmer summers in general.

In Upper Mures River Basin, average multiannual temperatures vary between 5˚C – 6˚C in the depression sector and slightly over 0˚C in the alpine sector, with the coldest month, namely January (-6˚C … -7˚C) and the warmest month, July (12˚C … 17˚C). The climate in the middle basin of Mures features average annual temperatures of approximately 8˚C, average monthly temperatures drop up to -4˚C in January and exceed in some places 18˚C – 19˚C in July. Lower Mures corridor, ranging between Apuseni Mountains and Poiana Ruscăi Mountains, between Alba Iulia and Lipova, is characterized, in terms of climate, by annual temperatures below 6˚C in the alpine sector and 9˚C – 10˚C along Mures Valley. In the Lower Mures area of the Western Plain, average annual temperatures vary between 10˚C – 11˚C. The average monthly temperature in January is –2-3˚C and 18˚C-21˚C in July.

The quantity of average multiannual precipitations is between 80 mm and 980 mm, with an average of 610 mm per basin.

Total water resources

Mures River has its sources in Eastern Carpathians, in Hasmasul Mare Mountains, at an altitude of 850 m. Mures River Basin has a total area of 29,289 km², of which 28,310 km² on the Romanian territory (including on Ier canal), representing 11.7 % of the country area. Mures runs mostly on the territory of our country, on a length of 761 km out of the total of 766 km, the rest of it crossing the Hungarian land. The coded/ surveyed hydrographic network in Mures River Basin includes in total 758 water courses and 10,800 km.

The main tributaries of Mures river are: Gurghiu river, Aries river, Niraj river, Tarnave river, (Tarnava Mica joining Tarnava Mare),  Ampoi river,  Sebes river and Strei river.

Mures river has its actual sources to the South of Giurgeului Depression, at an altitude of 850 m, near the commune Izvorul Muresului. Mures River Basin has an area of 28,310, including Ier Canal, representing 11.7 % of the country area. The water resource in surface waters is of 5.966 mil. cubic meters.

Mures runs mostly on the territory of our country on a length of 761 km. The coded hydrographic network includes in total 758 water courses and 10,861 km.

The course of Mures from its source to mouth can be divided into four characteristic sectors: upper Mures including Giurgeului Depression and Toplița-Deda gorge; middle Mures comprising the central area of Transylvania Plateau, between Deda and Alba Iulia; Lower Mures corridor, ranging between Apuseni Mountains, Southern Carpathians and Banatului Mountains, between Alba Iulia and Lipova; lower Mures in the Western Plain, between Lipova and the border with Hungary.

Within Mures River Basin there is a hydrometric activity of water courses, in 109 basic gauge stations where the set of observations and measurements is carried out, aimed at finding the hydrological regime. In Mures River Basin there are 47 natural lakes, among which we mention: Ursu Lake, Rosu Lake, Iezer Lake, Ana Lake, Taul Lake etc.

Description of existing flood protection works

As a result of historical floods from 1970-1975, in Mures River Basin, there were several flood protection works, namely dams and dikes.

In Mures River Basin, there are 210 embankment works (of which 27 are major) with a total length of around 825 km. These works defend 240 localities (of which 55 cities and towns), 8,827 households in the urban area and 60,240 in the rural area, 314 km of railway, 242 km of national roads and 313 km of county roads. The total area protected, as per the reporting, is of approx. 190,000 ha.

Among the major embankment works, we mention those in Reghin, Targu Mures, Ludus, the embankment of the Niraj and Comlod rivers, the embankment of Tarnava Mica river in Tarnaveni, the embankment of Piriul de Cimpie, the defense works in the cities of Sighisoara, Blaj, Medias, Dumbraveni, Copsa Mica, Alba Iulia and Deva. Also in the category of major works, we mention the embankment in Mihalt, Ilia, Lipova, Mures right bank Arad-Pecica, Sambateni – Paulis, Felnac – Periam and Periam – Cenad. By counties, the majority of works are in the counties of Mures (8), Alba (3), Sibiu (3), Hunedoara (2) and Arad (7). Except for the embankments on the Lower Mures in the border area, the design discharge of which corresponds to a frequency of occurrence of maximum discharges of 1/500 years, the remaining ones are calculated for 1/100 years in towns, 2/100 years in rural localities and 1/10 years in the remaining lands.

Thus, in Mures River Basin, there are the following dams: Zetea, Bezid, Mihoesti, Cincis, Rediu, Tureni, Faneata Vacilor. It is about flood protection works (reservoirs) with a complex role (namely they also have other uses in addition to protection) distributed as follows:

  • in Tarnava Mare River Basin: the non-permanent reservoir Vanatori on Tarnava Mare river (25 mil. cubic meters) and the permanent reservoir Zetea with an alleviation volume of 18.4 mil. cubic meters;
  • in Tarnava Mica River Basin: the non-permanent reservoir Balauseri (24.5 mil. cubic meters) and the permanent reservoir Bezid, on Cusmed river, with an alleviation volume of 16 mil. cubic meters;
  • in Aries River Basin: the permanent reservoir Mihoiesti with an alleviation volume of 3.25 mil. cubic meters;
  • in Cerna River Basin: the reservoir Cincis with an alleviation volume of 17.2 mil. cubic meters.
Dams which also have the role of flood wave storage are Oasa and Gura Apelor dams, which belong to the chain of reservoirs on Sebes River and Raul Mare (a tributary of Strei river), chains which are managed by Hidroelectrica SA. Besides, on Cugir river there is Cugir dam.

The main non-permanent reservoirs to be found in Mures are: Vanatori (Tarnava Mare), Balauseri (Tarnava Mica), Nemsa (Mojna), Taul Ceanului (Valea Calda), Draut (Draut), Sistarovat (Sistarovat), Cladova (Cladova), works with a flood protection role only.

Dikes have a role in defending localities, and even some agricultural lands, which, in Mures River Basin, have a total length of 879,063 km, these works being sized depending on the defended objectives.

Flood records

The main historical floods occurred in Mures River Basin are those recorded in 1970 (May), 1975 (July), 1981 (March), 1995-1996 (December 1995 – January 1996), 1998 (June), 2005 (August), 2010 (July). Following rainfalls recoded, there occurred floods leading to exceptional increases in discharges on main water courses: Mures, Tarnava Mare, Tarnava Mica, Aries and on their tributaries. When exiting Romania, Mures river has an average multiannual discharge of 180.8 m3/s, and has recorded the following historical discharges: Q max= 2230 cubic meters/s (May 1970), Qmin= 14.0 cubic meters/s (January 1964).

Contact Mures RBA

Address: Strada Köteles Sámuel 33, Targu Mures

 Tel: 0265 / 261 303   0737-166 735

Fax: 0265 / 264 290  0265 / 267 955