Resumee Preliminary Study Lafnitz

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

What was the focus of the preliminary study?

The preliminary study defines the content-related, temporal and organisational framework for the implementation of the GE-RM Lafnitz. On the one hand, the focus was on collecting data on the various topics or modules, and on the other hand, on assessing the relevance of the topics and modules. As a result, the scopes of work for the GE-RM Lafnitz were developed.

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

Simultaneously to the preliminary study, a hazard zone planning was carried out for the entire Lafnitz. Based on the new results, the flood risk, among other things, is now to be reassessed.

Another essential point of the GE-RM will be the question of sediment balance. The Lafnitz is heavily polluted by diffuse input.

Due to the length of the Lafnitz of about 104 km, the definition of the scope of work on the topic of river development was very challenging. The extent of mapping, investigations and sampling had to remain within a realistic framework in terms of content and finances.

What were the challenges and highlights?

The Lafnitz is the border river between Burgenland and Styria. Therefore, the GE-RM Lafnitz is being elaborated together with colleagues from the Burgenland water management. The cooperation with the departments involved has turned out to be a positive highlight.

Another positive aspect is that several EU co-financed LIFE-Nature projects have already been successfully implemented on the Lafnitz. Therefore, the added value of river ecology measures is well known by the municipalities. We are therefore counting on their support.

A particular challenge will be that the new hazard zone plan drawn up in the GE-RM Lafnitz will most likely reveal additional hazards to settlement and industrial sites. This may make the implementation of pilot measures more difficult. The question of land provision could also be a point of conflict, as no land has been secured to date.

Outlook and Timeplan

In a Europe-wide tendering procedure the GE-RM Lafnitz together with the GE-RM Enns was awarded to the best bidders in June 2020.

The draft of the GE-RM Lafnitz will be finalised by mid-2021. It will then be discussed in the region with the participation of the affected municipalities, associations and interested parties. The GE-RM Lafnitz is planned to be completed by the end of 2021, so that the planning of the first pilot measures can then begin.

“Success has two letters: DO.”

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