The Tiszalök Barrage was primarily planned to provide water for irrigation of the Trans-Tisza Region, a part of the Great Hungarian Plain. Besides, the barrage was to improve the navigational conditions of the Tisza and the Bodrog River and creating the possibility of water energy production. The irrigation systems were established in 1940, then as a result of the construction continued in 1950 the weir section started operating in spring 1954, the ship lock compartment was set up in 1958 and the hydro-electric power station started producing etectricity in 1959. The barrage is located west of the town of Tiszalök, at the river section of 518.2 kms, in the cutting the river-bend at Rázompuszta. By raising the up-stream water level of the river, the barrage allows for
- discharging 40-60 m3/s of water through the Keleti Főcsatorna (East Main Canal) and its water systems by gravity, and from this discharge a water flow of 28 m3/s is diverted into the Valley of the Körös Rivers;
- providing a permanent navigational waterway along 80 kms of the Tisza River, and 50 kms of the Bodrog River;
- and producing electric energy of 54 GWh/year by the Hydro-electric power station.
During its 50 year-long life the barrage has been fulfilled all the demands come up one after another, such as supplying drinking water (the town of Debrecen), water quality prevention and protection (the Tisza River), conservation eligible ecological status permanently (the Tokaj-Bodrogzug Landscape Protected Area), providing international navigable waterway (the Tisza-Bodrog Rivers), limited peak energy production by the Hydro-electric power station.
The Ship lock is connected to the right side pier of the Weir. Considering the effective measures, the chamber is 85.0 m wide by 17.0 m thick. It was designed to be enough for a dumb barge with a capacity up to 1,200 tonnes and even for the con?temporary paddlewheel boats used on the River Tisza. For closing of the chamber mitre gates are used. The chamber is admitted or released through tunnels running lengthwise the two sidewalls of the Lock. The water does it work by force of gravity alone. The maximum time required for a ship locking is 30 minutes. Large ships can pass the lock in order of arrival time, small crafts in groups from sunrise to sunset. During flood ships are expected to pass the lock through the appointed bay of the Weir.
The operator of there water engineering structures is the North Hungarian Environment and Water Authority, Miskolc. The Weir has got three bays; each is 37.0 m wide. The closing devices are three-belt, wicket type, moveable steel constructions. The height of the lower compartment is 6.0 m, and by using the arched shutter gates the upstream water lever can be raised by additional 2.0 m to 2.7 m. The Gall's chains operated from the control cabin located in the piers raise the gates and move the arched shutter gates. The average elevation of raised water level is 93.825 m ? 10 cm above Baltic Sea level (94.50 m ? 10 cm above Adriatic Sea level). In extraordinary cases the level can be raised even to 94.525 m above Baltic Sea level (95.20 m above Adriatic Sea level). During flood the closing devices are fully raised from the water. The temporarily closure is carried out by setting in of the Schön-type trestle gates. In the baffle piers next to the Hydro-electric power station there is a fish ladder consisting of 72 fish pools with a maximum difference of 10 cm in water levels. The Hydro-electric power station is located in the bay on the left side. It is operated by the Tiszavíz Water Power Station ltd., Tiszalök. The station discharge capacity is 300 m3/s used by the three, 4.8 m diameter vertical-saft Kaplan turbinas with a discharge capacity of 100 m3/s each.
The height of waterfall ranges from 2.0 m to 7.5 m, and the usually height is 5.0 m. The total performance of the generators is 14 MW, and thus the power station can annually produce up to 54 GWh of energy. The Hydro power station is connected to the national grid. The shipyard, the sluice-timber depot, the administration buildings of the Authority and the Tiszavíz ltd. and the hydro substation is situated in the plant on the left riverside.