The adverse effects of climate change on water resources have been demonstrated recently. The shallow surface and groundwater levels throughout Europe in 2022 have not been restored, even during the winter-spring recharge period. Water scarcity causes economic damage and may lead to food supply shortages and social tension. For Lake Velence, extreme drought caused damage throughout the watershed. The record low water levels kept away tourists and reduced the revenues. Stakeholder cooperation on sustainable water-related developments is essential to overcome the water deficit in the area.
Surveys among local mayors confirmed that there is an affinity and possibility to sustainably utilize rainwater with the application of nature-based solutions. These infrastructures have low impacts on the lake’s water level while noticeably improving plant and agricultural irrigation, though the benefits are mostly unknown among stakeholders. Consequently, profitability per area unit for agricultural and farming activities can be increased. The research quantifies the possible positive effects of economic incentives used to implement nature-based solutions in the hilly settlements of Lake Velence; they sustainably increase the yield of agricultural production and food security and economically beneficial tools for mayors to optimize placement of nature-based solutions within the catchment to achieve adequate soil quality and additional social benefits.