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Koller-Kreimel V.,Bundesministerium fur Land und Forstwirtschaft
WasserWirtschaft | Year: 2017

River continuity is interrupted by more than 30 000 barriers mainly due to flood protection measures and hydropower use in Austria. This pressure type was identified to be one of the main reasons responsible for failing the environmental objectives of the EU Water Framework Directive next to morphological habitat deficits. Due to the high number of restoration needs it was agreed to apply a stepwise approach based on an ecological prioritisation. In line with the Programme of Measures of the first National River Basin Management Plan about 1 000 fish passage structures were built in the period of 2009-2015 to restore upstream fish migration at least. Legal measures on the one hand were implemented or further developed to clarify the requirements for continuity restoration new and existing barriers and to trigger restoration activities. A national guideline on how to restore upstream fish migration was developed as a supporting tool to ensure high functionality of these facilities. The issue of downstream migration is being assessed in several research projects. Innovative solutions for continuity restoration are tested at particular sites where no standard solutions are technically feasible to be implemented.


Pardo I.,University of Vigo | Gomez-Rodriguez C.,University of Vigo | Owen R.,UK Environment Agency | van de Bund W.,European Commission | And 7 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2012

One objective of the European Union (EU)'s Water Framework Directive (WFD: Directive 2000/60/EC) is for all European surface waters to achieve 'good status' by 2015. In support of this objective, the EU has facilitated an intercalibration exercise to ensure harmonized definitions of the status of water bodies, reflecting the deviation of their properties (mainly biotic assemblages) from a minimally disturbed state, termed the "reference condition". One of the major challenges of the WFD has been to find common approaches for defining reference conditions and to define the level of anthropogenic intervention allowed in reference sites. In this paper we describe how river reference sites were selected in the Central-Baltic region of Europe. A list of pressure criteria was provided and 14 Member States (MSs) categorized each criterion according to the method (i.e. measured, field inspection, etc.) used for reference site screening. Additionally, reference land-use and water-chemistry thresholds were agreed among countries in order to base reference site selection on objective criteria. For land-use criteria, a reference threshold and a rejection threshold were established. Sites with all criteria below the reference threshold were considered to be reference sites; sites having most criteria below the reference threshold and only some parameters between the reference and rejection threshold were "possible reference sites". These sites were retained only after carefully checking the cumulative effects of the pressures using local expertise, and a posteriori water-chemistry evaluation was necessary. In general, the most widespread method for defining a reference site was the measurement of pressures, followed by field inspections and expert judgment. However, some major pressures (e.g. hydromorphological alteration) were evaluated in a number of different ways (e.g. measured, field inspection, expert judgment). Our meta-analyses reveal a need to reinforce standardization in the application of pressure criteria by Member States. The pressure criteria identified in this exercise should be refined and tested with biological data to help in the further validation of minimally disturbed sites (i.e. the WFD "reference condition") and to provide a firm foundation for ecological status assessment. This in turn would ensure that there is pan-European comparability when evaluating the achievement of environmental objectives. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Bennett C.,UK Environment Agency | Owen R.,UK Environment Agency | Birk S.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Buffagni A.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | And 8 more authors.
Hydrobiologia | Year: 2011

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) requires intercalibration to be performed to ensure that ecological status, as defined by the boundary values of national biological assessment systems, is consistent with the definitions outlined in the WFD and comparable between Member States (MS). This article describes an intercalibration of 17 national river macro-invertebrate assessment methods from the Central and Baltic regions of Europe. We explore the hypothesis that intercalibration should be successful if ratios of the observed biota to that expected in reference condition are used to compare assessments of different national assessment systems. National boundaries expressed as ecological quality ratios (EQRs) were converted to values of a common multi-metric for the purpose of comparison. Twelve MS for the High/Good boundary and nine MS for the Good/Moderate boundary (and four MS who subsequently harmonised their boundaries) were within ±0. 05 EQR units of the intercalibration boundaries and were deemed to be of comparable ecological standard. The use of a reference-based approach was deemed to be successful given that all the critical pre-requisites for intercalibration were satisfied. The boundaries derived from this intercalibration represent the first common interpretation of the ecological status of rivers based on macro-invertebrate assessment methods across Europe. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Isotta F.A.,Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss | Frei C.,Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss | Weilguni V.,Bundesministerium fur Land und Forstwirtschaft | Percec Tadic M.,Meteorological and Hydrological Service of Croatia | And 14 more authors.
International Journal of Climatology | Year: 2014

In the region of the European Alps, national and regional meteorological services operate rain-gauge networks, which together, constitute one of the densest in situ observation systems in a large-scale high-mountain region. Data from these networks are consistently analyzed, in this study, to develop a pan-Alpine grid dataset and to describe the region's mesoscale precipitation climate, including the occurrence of heavy precipitation and long dry periods. The analyses are based on a collation of high-resolution rain-gauge data from seven Alpine countries, with 5500 measurements per day on average, spanning the period 1971-2008. The dataset is an update of an earlier version with improved data density and more thorough quality control. The grid dataset has a grid spacing of 5 km, daily time resolution, and was constructed with a distance-angular weighting scheme that integrates climatological precipitation-topography relationships. Scales effectively resolved in the dataset are coarser than the grid spacing and vary in time and space, depending on station density. We quantify the uncertainty of the dataset by cross-validation and in relation to topographic complexity, data density and season. Results indicate that grid point estimates are systematically underestimated (overestimated) at large (small) precipitation intensities, when they are interpreted as point estimates. Our climatological analyses highlight interesting variations in indicators of daily precipitation that deviate from the pattern and course of mean precipitation and illustrate the complex role of topography. The daily Alpine precipitation grid dataset was developed as part of the EU funded EURO4M project and is freely available for scientific use. © 2013 Royal Meteorological Society.


Czerny H.,Bundesministerium fur Land und Forstwirtschaft | Eistert T.,Fachabteilung Wasserwirtschaft
Osterreichische Wasser- und Abfallwirtschaft | Year: 2014

Reservoirs for artificial snow production are playing a key role in winter tourism. In order of their almost exposed site and large reservoir capacity high efforts on their structural and operational safety have to be carried on. That means that reservoirs have to be designed very conservative, realised with high quality and supervised by representative parameters of their behaviour. At site inspections are carried out by personal (dam attendant, dam safety engineer) which is well educated and familiar with the reservoir and the appurtenant structures. For this task additional workshops and courses are provided to prepare personal best possible for that high responsible function. Besides the regulations of the Austrian Water Law and the decisions of the Austrian Commission on Dams in 2011 a guideline was finished for external use, which stipulates the requirements on reservoirs for artificial snow production and other applications (Approval Procedure, Procedure for the Renewal of the Permit) and constitutes thereby an uniform and throughout Austria valid standard. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Wien.


Neudorfer T.,Bundesministerium fur Land und Forstwirtschaft | Schonhart M.,University of Vienna | Schmid E.,University of Vienna
Journal of the Austrian Society of Agricultural Economics | Year: 2013

The choice of the business strategy and the associated investment decisions determine the development of dairy farms as well as the vulnerability to changing market conditions. In this article, alternative business strategies for an Austrian case-study dairy farm are analysed in context of different market and policy conditions using linear programming. The model results show that the level of vulnerability to market price volatility is highly depending on the selected business strategy. Specialization and growth strategies provide opportunities to increase farm income, but the absolute fluctuations in farm income are higher as well. Diversification strategies and off-farm combinations can reduce the volatility of household income. The calculated household incomes by business strategy range between € 4,- and € 22,- per hour family labour (including off-farm incomes). The model results also show that output prices have a higher impact on farm income than input prices.


Pleschko D.,Bundesministerium fur Land und Forstwirtschaft | Kaufmann A.,Institute For Wasserbau Und Hydrometrische Prufung
Osterreichische Wasser- und Abfallwirtschaft | Year: 2012

Summary: The EU Floods Directive has introduced a cyclical planning approach for the management of flood risks. The three tools provided in the Directive - preliminary risk assessment, flood hazard and flood risk maps as well as flood risk management plans - must be revised every six years. Austria's implementation of the EU Floods Directive is the consistent continuation of its strategy adopted when dealing with the consequences of the 2002 and 2005 floods. It has long been the declared objective of experts at both the federal and provincial governmental levels that all those engaged in flood risk management should proceed together. This has now been formulated in a legal framework by the EU Floods Directive. In terms of protective water management, this implies the need to coordinate federal and provincial administrative competences and to provide for the structures necessary to enable efficient cooperation. The aim is to integrate established methods into the new planning instruments or combine them to advantage. The results obtained so far from the preliminary assessment of flood risks in Austria as well as the progress made in the implementation of flood hazard and flood risk maps are discussed. The flood risk management plans are still in the design stage. First ideas are presented suggesting possible future developments for flood risk management in Austria. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.


Schrittwieser J.,Bundesministerium fur Land und Forstwirtschaft | Uberwimmer F.,Abt. Anlagen | Venohr M.,Leibniz Institute For Gewasserokologie Und Binnenfischerei
Osterreichische Wasser- und Abfallwirtschaft | Year: 2014

A pressing management question in the Danube river basin is how to reduce nutrient emissions so as to improve the status of the Danube and the Black Sea. This article describes the fundamentals and goals of nutrient management, presents the current level of nutrient load and input pathways, and offers insights into efforts to reduce nutrient emissions. With the help of the simulation model MONERIS we have been able to quantify the nutrient emissions from household and industrial wastewater, from atmospheric deposition and from agriculture, and to analyze the temporal and spatial effects of various management scenarios. Major investments have been and are being made in wastewater treatment plants in the Danube countries, and the EU-wide limit on the phosphate content in household detergents marks a major success. Through European environmental policy and the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), efforts are being made to more quickly arrive at agricultural methods that are safer for our waters. At the same time, awareness campaigns and a "greening" of the CAP are already underway. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Wien.


This paper has been conceived for the future "Leaflet for the reuse of the material excavated in tunnelling". The goal was to explain the term "waste" in contrast to non-waste (product), the requirements for dealing with wastes, the permissible recovery of wastes and the time when the end-of-waste starts. Apart from the passages of legal texts which are most important from the technical point of view, explanations, legal material and letters already written by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management on this issue have been used. Moreover the decisive provisions of the Landfill Ordinance 2008 and of the Law on the Remediation of Contaminated Sites are presented. © 2014 Ernst & Sohn Verlag für Architektur und technische Wissenschaften GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin.


Pinter M.,Bundesministerium fur Land und Forstwirtschaft
Journal of the Austrian Society of Agricultural Economics | Year: 2013

Milk production in mountain areas is subject to structural change that manifests itself in decreasing numbers of milk farms in the last few years. Thus, it is increasingly important to estimate the importance of milk production on mountain farms in order to be able to derive their future orientation. In the course of this study, 30 narrative interviews with mountain farmers of the Mountain Farm Cadastre categories 3 and 4 were conducted in the district Murau. It shows that milk production still has a very high priority for the majority of the interviewees. Analyses of statements concerning income reveal three trend clusters that are subsequently illustrated and characterised with case studies.

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