Freshwater - Why care? (Austria)
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Austria is a country with an abundant availability of water, only a small proportion of which is used. The countrys fundamental objective of water management is its protection and sustainable use. EU water legislation, in particular the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the Austrian Water Act with its linked ordinances create the legal framework for this.
Due to the substantial investments that have been made in recent decades, the problems caused in surface waters due to pollutants have to a great extent been solved. For surface waters, the challenge for the years ahead is to reduce the impacts of hydromorphological interventions caused by structural flood mitigation and energy generation.
The quantitative status of groundwater is good but nitrate pollution presents quality issues in regions with intensive agriculture.