Bathing in Lake Balaton might become impossible in 10-15 years because of the deteriorating water quality. That is the most pessimistic prognosis, Viktor Tóth a senior fellow of the Balaton Limnological Research Institute believes.
According to infostart.hu, Tóth said that the water level of the “Hungarian Sea” was 20 centimetres lower six months earlier. Currently, it is 4 pc above the maximum. The expert thinks it is likely that the water level would be 20-30 centimetres lower in the following months because of the higher temperatures and the consequently increased rate of evaporation. However, he did not give a long-term prognosis because the standard deviation is very high.
The most pessimistic prognosis is that Lake Balaton’s water quality will be so poor in 10-15 years that bathing will be impossible. According to a more optimistic forecast, the lake’s hydrologic system will solve the problem of low water levels.
Tóth highlighted that the core problem was the excessive control of the water levels in the last couple of decades. The reason behind that was the economy and the boom of tourism around the lake. There were no biological factors. He cleared that the water level oscillation was below 10 pc in the last 10-15 years. In contrast, this number was 30-40 pc in the 1970s, but back then nobody cared to control the water levels.
Nature will slowly adapt to the water level changes but oscillation can be likely expected, Tóth said. He highlighted it would be paramount to ensure the natural circulation of water in the lake.
As we reported earlier, at the end of April, the water level of Lake Balaton was 12 centimetres below the ideal. Experts expected more rainfall back then otherwise the summer season could have been in danger.
Index.hu reported that Lake Balaton could dry out in decades. The good news is that experts might be able to stabilize the water level. However, the bad news is that artificial processes can cause the lake’s paludification. Interestingly, the Gubahámori architectural firm created the concept of new natural beaches which could potentially protect the “Hungarian Sea.”