Resumee Preliminary Study Enns Styria

A conversation with Dipl.-Ing. Heinz Peter Paar, Federal State Styria

What was the focus of the preliminary study?

In the preliminary study we analysed sectoral and organisational requirements for the GE-RM and, if relevant, grouped them in different modules. The focus of the work was, on the one hand, the definition of the required data collection for the individual modules and, on the other hand, the assessment of whether and to what extent the different modules are relevant for the Enns in Styria.

What are the important findings of the preliminary study? What does this mean for the GE-RM?

Before the start of the GE-RM, a new runoff study and hazard zone planning was carried out for the Enns. Therefore, the flood risk has to be reassessed in the GE-RM.

Another important aspect is the sediment budget, as many tributaries of the Enns no longer show undisturbed bedload transport. Close cooperation with the forestry service for torrent and avalanche control is urgently needed here.

The river length of about 130 km also posed challenges for us. The extent of mapping, onsite inspections and sampling had to remain within a realistic framework in terms of content and finances.

What were the challenges and highlights?

The LIFE+ project “River Landscape Development Enns” was successfully implemented on the Enns between 2011 and 2015. It has brought recognisable added value for tourism and recreation. The region has acknowledged this and is therefore open to river ecology measures. The issue of land availability is also positive in the case of the Styrian Enns, as substantial areas are already available for pilot measures.

Another highlight has turned out to be the cooperation with the different responsible institutions, especially with the forestry service for torrent and avalanche control. This service is also very interested in the issue of sediment management and transport in the water bodies under their responsibility.

Possible conflicts with affected communities could arise from the new hazard zone plan. It brings new insights into the threats from flood risks to existing settlement and industrial sites.

Outlook and Timeplan

The Europe-wide tendering procedure for the GE-RM Enns was combined with the GE-RM Lafnitz and announced in June 2020.The draft version of the GE-RM should be finalised by mid-2021 and then be discussed in the region with the participation of the local communities, associations and interested parties. It should be finalised by the end of 2021 so that the detailed planning of the pilot measures can begin.

“Start with the necessary, then do the possible and suddenly you will do the impossible.”

Dipl.-Ing. Heinz Peter Paar, Federal State Styria