Promotion of biodiversity and reducing the effects of floods and drought in the Austrian-Czech border region

Project description

The Thaya River runs along the border between Austria and the Czech Republic, and both countries benefit from using the river for energy production, recreation and fishing. This leads to negative effects on the river system, such as canalisation and separation of flood areas, which can change the transport of sediment and might cause accretion of water storage space and higher risk of floods. The separation of meanders has bad effects on the ecosystem, aquatic habitats and biodiversity. It impairs the functionality of ecosystems, and the problem is worsened by droughts, floods and climate change.

Sedeco is about the promotion of biodiversity and reducing the effects of floods and drought through the creation of green infrastructure, reconnection of separated meanders, riverbank renaturation through the use of dead wood structures and creation of islands in stowage areas. The hydraulic engineering laboratory that is going to be built within the project has a unique position as it is located between the Danube River and the Danube channel using the water surface slope to make experiments with free flow of up to 10 m3 /s. It should be run as an open research centre and enable models on a scale of 1:1 on flood protecting renaturation actions in relation to sediment transport and morphodynamics. The hydraulic engineering laboratory also will be used by people from the other side of the border, and is designed especially for the needs of student’s exchanges, joint lectures and research cooperation.

Another goal of the project is to improve sediment management in the basin of the Thaya River, using the Nové Mlýny storage space as an example and to develop a management strategy. Investigations have led to measures such as the creation of islands consisting of material dredged in the inlet area of the storage space. The islands will improve the habitat structure and reduce the flood risk.

 The project partners are also planning the evaluation and improvement of water renaturation measures in terms of habitat variety, flood, drought and the assessment of its relevance for the ecosystem services.

 Other important components of the project include the modelling of the outflow of the river of the storage spaces Vranov, Znojmo, Nové Mlýny in terms of the hydrologic extremes of flooding and droughts. This is very important for the analysis of siltation areas and the storage capacities in the context of climate change. 

Key facts

Project duration
04/2016-12/2020
Funding programme Interreg V-A Austria-Czech Republic 2014-2020
Project partners

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (Leadpartner) (AT)

BOKU-Wasserbaulabor Errichtungs- und Betriebs-Gesellschaft m.b.H. (AT)

Brno University of Technology (CZ)

Povodi Moravy,s.p. (CZ)

Budget of the Viennese project partners
€ 5.112.300 thereof ERDF: € 2.714.400