Hydromorphological interventions in the Danube that were done in the course of various uses of the river – such as groynes and the armouring of river banks – constitute a damage potential for the river and its connected ecosystems. Along the Austrian Danube many measures were taken in recent years to react to these challenges. For example, backwaters were reconnected to the main stream. Such renaturation measures not only improve the ecological functionality but also ensure the central role of riverside areas as retention zones. In case of a flood event, such areas can help to save lives and prevent economic damage. Therefore, restoration projects for potential flood areas are beneficial in more than one way. The next year´s challenges are to continue the activities already underway and improve the efficiency of measures. This includes the research on and development of innovative methods as well as the implementation of specific projects along the Danube.

Description of the measure

  • Improve the hydromorphological situation and halt riverbed erosion (through structural measures, such as riverbank renaturation, the creation of natural sandbanks and gravel shores, improvement of the riverbed, sediment Management)
  • Improve the dynamics of the water flow and the hydrological connectivity (e.g. reconnect side arms and backwaters with the river and revitalise existing backwaters, create near-natural estuary areas, riverbank restoration, integrative design of groynes)
  • Promote biodiversity (conservation measures for endangered animal and plant species (e.g. Sterlet), prevention and removal of neophytes (non-resident species))
  • Facilitate natural processes in river systems (e.g. regular erosion and sedimentation of gravel banks or islands)
  • Improve ecological functionality (e.g. biotope management in the hinterland)
  • Conduct research and expert exchange on subjects of renaturation


Impact indicator


Cooperation partners

Lenght of created, dynamic, near-natural river banks along the Danube and its tributariesviadonau (Oberes Donautal, Wachau, Area east of Vienna, Morava, Thaya)Verbund, Austrian federal states
Upper and Lower Austria (Länder), working group Wachau, Federal Environmental Agency,
fishermen´s associations, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Environment and Water Management (bmlfuw), WWF, NGOs