Ecology and morphology

The EU Water Framework Directive and its implementation into the Austrian Water Law (WRG) 1959 are new challenges for hydraulic engineering concerning river morphology and passability because of existing deficits in rivers and lakes.

In Europe about 1 Million non-fish passable barriers exist [AMBER, 2017]. Concerning the new „National Water Plan 2015 (NGP 2015)“  about 33.000 barriers were built in Austria. The majority of these barriers are not related to hydro power. Most of them were constructed for stabilizing the river bed or the whole river reach and hence for flood protection reasons.  Therefore, technically feasible and cheap solutions are highly welcomed. Research of fish and sediment passability is done at the Institute essentially.

Concerning reservoir sedimentation it is well known that an annual global loss of reservoir volume of about 1% is given [Morris und Fan, 1998]. There are considerable regional differences, however, the new construction of reservoirs is insufficient and the loss of volumes cannot be compensated. In Austria these problems are the same. Depositions in high head reservoirs may lead to the blocking of plant equipment on one hand and in run-of schemes to problems concerning floods because of infrequent release of sediment (flushings) on the other hand. The Institute is very active in this field of research too.