The River Dráva
The source of the Dráva is to be found in Italy, in the Tyrolean Alps and the river flows through Austria, Slovenia and Croatia, reaching Hungary at its 237.8km mark at Őrtilos, where it is joined by its largest branch the River Mura. It is a bendy frontier river, sometimes reaching into Croatia, sometimes flowing within Hungary. It finally leaves Hungary at its 70.2km mark at Matty, flowing on in a south eastern direction, finally joining the River Danube at Almás in Croatia. Its total length is around 700km, of which around 140km lies in Hungary. 90% of its catchment area is found in the Alps, thus its water level is dependent on the mountain weather. Flooding is typical at the beginning of summer and in the autumn. Its water level is at the lowest in January and February thanks to the snow. The largest recorded difference between high and low water is seven meters. The river deposits pebbles above Barcs and sand in its stretch in Baranya County.
Significant regulisation of the river began in the second half of the 18th century. At this time 60 sharp river bends were removed, thus reducing its length by around one third and subsequently increasing the speed of water flow. By building stone barriers the river was prevented from spilling sideways from its course. Over the centuries the river's connections to feeding waters disappeared and the drying out of the Dráva Plain began.