5.7.1850 Buda/H - 6.6.1919 Budapest/H
Jenő (Eugene) Kvassay was a pioneer of regulating rivers in Eastern Europe. His 1873 book On our waters deals mainly with the River Tisza regulation. It is the largest tributary to the Danube River having its origins in Southwestern Ukraine, heading then to the west and joining the Danube close to Belgrade. Its length is almost 1,300 km and the river was known for its richness with fish. Tisza River was nearly in the original state until around 1845, when regulations were initiated to control floods. The centennial 1970 flood was disastrous for the population of Eastern Hungary. Recently, the river has suffered a large chemical spill from a Romanian mining area that may have significant consequences for both flora and fauna concerned.
During the completion of the first Tisza River regulation, Kvassay played an eminent role as head of the Hungarian water resources service. For him cuts and a narrow dike arrangement had a small effect on flood control. He rather proposed river by-passes and large retention basins as a passive flood control. During the 1880's, Kvassay dropped this idea as the director of works. He rather proposed a novel concept based on accurate hydrographic observations: Both the river bed and the river dikes should be improved and irrigation of the agricultural land should be promoted. He in addition proposed navigation canals for the Hungarian infrastructure. Recently, flood control has been enhanced with large polder surfaces as flood retention basins to lessen the dangers of large natural disasters. A polder is a low-lying tract of land that forms an artificial hydrological entity, enclosed by embankments known as dikes and requiring drainage to maintain the water table within it from rising too high. Polders are most commonly found in the Netherlands, the country they are frequently associated with. From 1993 the Jenő-Kvassay-Award is the top decoration of the Hungarian Hydrological Society.
Hajós, B., Fejér, L. (2001). Gedanken über die Vergangenheit und Zukunft der Theiss-Regulierung am 150. Jahrestag der Geburt von Jenö Kvassay. Vizügyi Közlemények 83(1): 136-153. P
Kenessey, B. von (1928). Kvassay Jenö. Vizügyi Közlemények 10(7/12): 3-21; 11(2): 3-8. P
Kvassay, E. von (1877). Le moulinet de Woltman. Annales Ponts et Chaussées 47(1): 236-242.
Kvassay, E. von (1900). L'influence des travaux de régularisation sur le régime des cours d'eau en Hongrie. Zeitschrift für Gewässerkunde 3(6): 325-345.
Kvassay, E. von (1916). La Dabube international. Budapest.
Stelczer, K. (1986). 100 years of the hydrological service in Hungary. Budapest.

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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