After many Corona-related video conferences, the IRIS team met live again for the first time. On 9th and 10th of June 2021, the 6th IRIS networking meeting took place in Neustift an der Lafnitz. In addition to the IRIS project partners, representatives of the engineering offices commissioned with the elaboration of River Development and Risk Management Concepts (in short: GE-RMs) throughout Austria took part again this time. Hence detailed insights into the practical implementation of the GE-RM Guidelines could be be gained in the discussion.
The topic of the 6th IRIS networking meeting was the two GE-RM modules “Networking Analysis” and “Development Goals – Integrative Guiding Principles”. These two modules are a central part of the GE-RM planning process, in which, on the one hand, the sectoral deficits for the planning area are defined and, based on this, the need for action, development goals and possible synergies are derived. The result forms an essential basis for the development of an integrative concept of measures coordinated between river ecology and flood protection, the final result of the GE-RM planning process.
The practical implementation of the “Leitbild” modules is only outlined in rudimentary form in the current GE-RM Guidelines of the BMLRT. The approaches to practical implementation are therefore diverse. At the event, 4 IRIS GE-RMs presented their methodological approaches and considerations. These were the basis for a very lively, partly controversial, but professionally highly interesting discussion. In a workshop on the 2nd day of the event, concrete questions were discussed in small groups. The results of the discussions will be incorporated into the “Living Paper GE-RM”, which will be the basis for the revision of the GE-RM Guidelines at the end of the IRIS project.
Besides the professional exchange, the networking meeting was also a nice opportunity for a personal reunion of all project partners. A special highlight of the event was the visit of Regional Minister Mag. Heinrich Dorner and his invitation to a joint dinner, during which he listened with high interest to explanations about the measures and goals of the IRIS project.
On the second day of the event, an excursion to the river Lafnitz took place under the leadership of Emil Flasch and the group leader of departments 4 and 5 of the Burgenland provincial government, WHR DI Josef Wagner. Among other things, a renaturation measure of a former LIFE project and a meander were visited.