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Remediation of Palic Lake, Serbia


Palić lake is a shallow Pannonian lake near Subotica. It is part of a protected natural park that sticks within 3^ category protection and includes a lake and part of the Palić village, with a total area of 713 hectares and 869 hectares safety zone. Water depth varies according to the season between 1-2 m. It's a popular tourist destination, with 3 separate beaches covering 23,8 km , and shallow waters averaging 1.9 m in depth. It is situated in the midst of a mild continental climate and receives an average of 2,100 hours of sunshine per year, with an average summer temperature of 20°C. As early as the end of the last century the Lake’s vegetation begun to increase and water levels to recede, affected by increased temperatures, changing wind patterns and the presence of waste water.

By the summer of 1970, a shortage of oxygen caused by uncontrollable algal bloom resulted in the death of all living organisms in the Lake. By 1971 the lake had completely dried up. Its mud was removed, a waste-water purifier built and in 1976 the lake was refilled with water and monitored carefully. In addition the Tisa - Palic canal was installed in 1995, greatly improving the Lake’s water quality.

Palic Lake is again under threat, as the result of communal and industrial wastewaters. Revenue generated from citizens’ payment of increased water fees and the enlargement of the purifier have not been able to improve the situation significantly, and the Lake bottom is now covered in nearly 1 m of mud.

Three years ago, Regional Institute for the Protection of Nature have done the revision of lake protection, prepared a new study, re-evaluate the condition of the lake and changed the ordinance on the protection in order to be complied with current legislation and EU legislation.

But the sewage system it's not the only problem, because as elsewhere in Vojvodina, a coastal part of the arable land is threatened by pesticides and herbicides. The ecosystem can not function without the coastal part and one part of it has already been destroyed. The platform for Palićko lake rehabilitation was formed by a working group nominated by the mayor and is made up of professional people from Subotica. The platform's goal is to solve infrastructure problems in the coastal part as well the waste disposal site, which threatens the ecosystem of the lake. Environmental sanitation should start within a year by discharging water from the lake, with the construction of pipelines and pumping stations; project documentation is expected to be ready in 2014. In July 2014 activities to prepare the area for the temporarily fish houseing started, which represent the first concrete steps in the process of remediation.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Remediation of Palic Lake, Serbia
State or province:Vojvodina
Location of conflict:Palić
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Water treatment and access to sanitation (access to sewage)

Project Details and Actors

Project details

They will dug out 1.9 million cubic meters of silt From the lake and built a tape for the disposal of sludge, as well they'll construct aquatic ecosystems designed to improve water quality in the lake.

Level of Investment:1,887,753
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:01/01/1970
Relevant government actors:Local authorities
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Centre for Ecology and Sustainable Development (CESD)
Provincial Institute for Nature Protection

Conflict & Mobilization

Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt


Project StatusIn operation
Development of alternatives:Three years ago Regional Institute for the Protection of Nature has done the revision of lake protection, prepared a new study, re-assess the state of the lake and changed the decree on the protection order in the frame of the applicable EU legislation.
A Platform to improve the ecological status of Palic lake and its surroundings was establish by the mayor and is made up of experts from Subotica.
The responsibles say that the first results will be seen in two - three years "if we are seriously approaching the realization of this platform and we keep the action plan." But the problem could be the lack of funds.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No

Sources & Materials

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Eutrophication: Status, Trends and Restoration Strategies for Palic Lake

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Sanacija jezera Palić

Uskoro akcioni plan za sanaciju Palićkog jezera

Sanacija jezera Palić

Action plan

Prezentacija Platforme za unapređenje statusa Palićkog jezera

Sanacija jezera Palić

U maju počinju prvi radovi na sanaciji jezera Palić

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

U maju počinju prvi radovi na sanaciji jezera Palić

Video: Jezero Palic - Sanacija (Izmuljavanje ) 70-tih godina

Meta information

Contributor:Katarina; Focus, association for sustainable development; [email protected]
Last update04/11/2014