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River Management

Due to the river-regulation and it´s resulting deepening of the riverbed, River Enns was disconnected from the floodplains and its sidearms. Further consequences were the reduction of river-related alluvial forests and loss of the river dynamics. As a long term effect, many of the remaining typical river-habitats are now threatened to vanish because of succession, siltation and/or lowering of groundwater levels. Hence, the main objectives of the project is the river basin development, which shall be achieved by

Protection and development of alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior,
Creation, recovery, or improvement of alluvial water bodies (´Natural eutrophic lakes with a vegetation of the Magnopotamion or Hydrocharition´),
Recovery and improvement of diverse aquatic, semi-terrestrial and terrestrial habitats by initiating dynamic river morphological processes, creation or connection of relict water bodies with the main channel and recovery or protection of alluvial ponds, as well as by
Recovery of typical river morphology and initiating dynamic river morphological processes by digging secondary channels, river-widening and removing bank protection.

River Enns – typical, actual and target river-status

Due to the low gradient of the valley ´Ennstal´, the river Enns once flowed through the valley in large meanders.

To increase the proportion of agricultural land in the 19th century, the river was regulated, meanders were cut-off and large areas were drained.

Consequently, bed degradation occurred, river dynamics and river-related habitats were lost.

Following were the consequences of river regulation and bed degradation:

Disconnection of the river Enns from the surrounding area and its secondary channels
Reduction of river-related alluvial forest (loss of biotopes)
Loss of fluvial dynamics

As a long term effect many of the remaining habitats that were formed by natural river dynamics in the past are threatened to be lost by succession, siltation and/or lowering of groundwater levels.

The main objectives are the recovery of the remaining alluvial habitats, the protection of alluvial forests by connecting existing stocks to the fluvial dynamics, the development of alluvial forests by changing stocks of non-adequate forests respectively the development of new forests and raising public awareness for the project.

Achieved results:

20,55 ha development of new and ecological improvement/protection of existing alluvial forests
2.570 m creation of secondary channels to initiate typical fluvial channel structures and river widening to initiate dynamic fluvial processes
1.700 m removal of bank protection to initiate dynamic fluvial processes
860 m revitalisation of tributaries and establishment of passability
12.985 m² Creation/improvement of alluvial ponds
4,30 ha extension of the Natura 2000 area


Project completion

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