All flood protection systems need to be maintained continuously, in order to be fully functional in case of a flood event. This includes regular inspections and functionality tests of the constructions. In the case of dry weather, viadonau is tasked with the maintenance and the day-to-day operation of the Danube Flood Control Agency (Donauhochwasserschutz-Konkurrenz (DHK)) dams along the Danube in the area of ​​Krems and from Stockerau-Zeiselmauer to the state border. This also includes the tributaries in the backwater areas of ​​the Danube. viadonau is also contracted by the relevant water authorities with the maintenance of the protective dams along the Morava and lower Thaya. Regular mowing and the removal of the mowed material are essential parts of this task. Leaving the mowed material on the dam would lead to the nutrient enrichment of the soil and the felting of the vegetation.

In the framework of the transnational, EU co-financed project DANUBEparksCONNECTED a grazing experiment was started in 2017 on the DHK dike "Marchfeldschutzdamm" in the area of Stopfenreuth. viadonau, as managing body of the Danube Flood Control Agency (DHK), is a strategic partner in this project and supports the grazing experiment as addition or (small-scale) alternative to the mowing of vegetation on dams in the framework of the meadow management. Grazing keeps the grass flatter and vegetation shorter, compared to mowing. Almost the entire vegetative mass is eaten up by the animals. Additionally, sheep are known for their "golden step" which means that their trempling leads to a good compression and stabilisation of the soil and with that the dam. In 2017 thirteen sheep grazed on parts of the Marchfeldschutzdamm; in 2018 approx. fifty animals grazed on the dam in the area of Schönau. The grazing experiment will be continued in 2019.

Information about the DANUBEparksCONNECTED project

Approximately 10 years ago the National Park Danube Floodplains initiated the cooperation "DANUBEPARKS". In the framework of the project DANUBEparksCONNECTED, under the lead of the National Park Danube Floodplains, a transnational ecological network is set up along the Danube. 15 partners and 9 strategic partners (among them viadonau) from all Danube riparian countries implement various measures which affect water, land and air. The grazing experiment described above is one of these landside measures. Further information is available on:

Project duration: 01.01.2017 - 30.11.2019

Total budget in Euro: 3 085 412.49
ERDF contribution: 2 487 762.45
IPA contribution: 134 838.13
ENI contribution: 0.00
The project is being co-financed by the Interreg "Danube Transnational Programme".

The activity makes a substantial contribution to the implementation of measure 18. Support nature and species conservation as part of flood protection management of the Action Programme for the Danube 2022.