Freshwater - Outlook 2020 (Austria)
Figure 11: Proportion of natural running waters which should display a good or high status in the years 2015, 2021 and 2027 (percentages refer to the length of the surface water bodies of running waters with a catchment area greater than 10 km2) (BMLFUW, 2010 - modified)
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Management measures will be applied to running waters that already have good status to ensure that protection continues. For waters which have a status below food, objectives have been set which will lead to a stepbystep improvement of the status in the waters over the whole perid of the water management plan, up to 2027, until the good status is achieved.
Measures in the first water management plan relate to heavily modified water bodies, improvements are mainly evident in these. As far as natural water bodies are concerned measures concentrate on the improvement of the status of large rivers by the construction of fish passes and ecologically sufficient water discharge.
The effect of the measures is to be evaluated by accompanying investigations. In waters with a catchment area <100 km, targeted improvement measures are to be provided for the third planning period 20212027 (BMLFUW, 2010).
Waste water management
In the coming years there will be a further slight increase in the connection rate to the urban wastewater treatment plants due to the extension of the sewerage network mainly in the rural areas. Because of the structure of the settlements and topography, a 100% connection rate is neither feasible nor essential (BMLFUW, 2008A)
After the infrastructure investments in the past decades, the emphasis in urban wastewater management in the coming years will be focused on operational imporvements and maintenance of the infrastructure. As far as emissions into surface waters are concerned, in future questions priority substances will have to be regarded and all input paths, both diffuse and point, will have to be examined.
For the three groundwater bodies without good status due to nitrate, extensions of time limits to 2027 are being sought in order to meet the targets. The reasons for this are the natural conditions in particular the long residence times of groundwater. The measures are laid down in the national water management plan.
The groundwater chemical monitoring programme is evaluated at regular intervals and the scope of the investigation programme concerning pollutants is adapted, based on new knowledge and on the results of special monitoring programmes.
Water management systems will meet the future challenges in different ways. Conventional technical flood protection measures will also be used in future, particularly where high economic values, centres of population and other important infrastructures are to be protected. In addition to this, however, more attention will be paid to dealing with passive flood protection, for example spatial planning, measures such as keeping areas at risk open or stipulate forms of land use which tolerates flooding. These measures will require the cooperation of many different disciplines.
The effects of climate change may in future bring about regional changes in water resources. Information on water abstraction and estimates regarding the need for obtaining drinking water are therefore becoming more important.
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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