Michal Kravčík

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Michal Kravčík
Pronunciation mixal ˈkrawtʃiːk
Born (1956-02-03) February 3, 1956 (age 62)
Nationality slovakian
Occupation environmentalist, engineer
Organization People and water
Known for preserving the village of Tichý Potok
Notable work New Water Paradigm – Water for the Recovery of Climate
Title Dipl Ing. PhD.
Awards Goldman Environmental Prize (1999)
Website http://kravcik.blog.sme.sk/

Michal Kravčík (Slovak pronunciation: [ˈmixal ˈkrawtʃiːk]; born 3 February 1956)[1] is a Slovak hydrologist and environmentalist. He was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 1999, for his contributions to the water management of the Torysa River.[2]

Biography[edit]

Michal Kravčík is a water management engineer. He has graduated at the Civil Engineering Faculty of Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava. He received a title Dipl Ing. PhD.. He has worked for 8 years at the Slovak Academy of Sciences. He promotes ecological solutions for integrated river basin management. Michal Kravčík had published numerous works, including "New Water Paradigm – Water for the Recovery of Climate" in 2007. He is a founding memberand Chairman of non-government organization People and Water(in Slovakian: MVO Ľudia a voda). He is a member of ASHOKA organization.[3]

Activities for nature[edit]

Tichy Potok

In 1992 democratic Slovakian government restored an old idea from communists' era to build a dam in Tichý Potok on upper part of Torysa river. The project was supposed to provide drinking water for cities in East Slovakia and support water if potential water shortfall occurs. The investment would affect natural rural environment and require to abandon four 700-year-old villages. Michal Kravčík did not agree with the idea. He claimed that existing drinking water reservoirs had not been used to their full extent, water consumption rate had been decreasing and huge quantities of water were being wasted at the stage of distribution. In 1993 he suggested a solution to the problem named "Water for Third Millennium). Only a year later, in 1994, he proposed introducing "The Blue Alternative", which presents the way to get the same amount of water for 20% of former investition value. One of requirements to apply this solution was decentralisation of power, because water was planned to be distributed by local authorities. Michal Kravčík's plan set building 35 microbasins and weirs and dams on local streams. He also intended to protect historic villages and to support agriculture. In spite of several adventages, Slovakian Ministry of Environment rejected alternative idea. Michal Kravčík together with NGO People and Water organised summer work camps in 1995 and 1996 in order to build a few small water reservoirs. Once the construction had been finished, the media was invited to the site. The project became even more popular, when organization People and Water were fined for running construction without permission. Michal Kravčík met several times with local communities so that to make them more aware about the local problems and improve their self-confidence in the matter of fighting against the dam in Tichy Potok. Eventually, in 1996 Slovakian Government resigned from the former plans, however, Michal Kravčík did not withdraw. He introduced a program "Villages for the Third Millennium" wchich included development of 24 villages. They ran such activities as an organic farm, agro-tourism, local handicrafts marketing, a fish farm and a reed bed water treatment plant. Michal Kravčík initiated a campaign "Village and democracy", which included 164 villags in mountain region of Levoča. He introduced to locals democratic processes and helped to create a sustainable open society. Then, in 1998, he ntered the national stage, when he organised an educational campaign on topic of forthcoming elections. As an result of his actions, the elections were attended by 84% of population and the former prime minister who supported the idea of building the dam in Tichy Potok was defeated.[4]

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