Wals-Siezenheim

Wider Saalach takes on masses of water

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10.07.2024 20:30

30 flood protection projects are currently underway in the province of Salzburg: the river bed of the Saalach in Wals-Siezenheim is currently being widened. Gravel islands have been created. A local inspection.

The horror scenarios from Bavaria in June are still omnipresent: while a few years ago it was still pouring around 50 liters per hour in heavy rain in our region, the 200 liter mark was broken there. And experts are not predicting any improvement in the amount of water - on the contrary. "The main focus now is on ensuring that we go the extra mile in flood protection," said ÖVP provincial councillor Sepp Schwaiger during a site inspection in Wals-Siezenheim. The plan is not to build even higher protective structures and dams against future climate disasters, but to create floodplains, side arms in the course of the river and new gravel islands. In the event of a catastrophe, water masses should flow more slowly along the Salzach.

Dredging work is in full swing 
A section of around 2.8 kilometers is still being dredged in Siezenheim. "We've already created islands where safety barriers are still being built," says Günther Huber from the hydraulic engineering department. This works with willow vegetation. Birds have also regained their habitat: the sandpiper has even nested on an island.

What protects the residents along the Saalach and the municipality of Wals-Siezenheim is also intended to restore quality to nature. The head of Wals, Andreas Hasenöhrl (ÖVP), is delighted about the new quality of life along the Saalach. The Treppelweg had to be relocated and land had to be purchased from the army and private individuals.

There are currently 30 flood protection projects underway costing around 40 million euros. The largest project by far is the measure in the Gastein Valley for around 21 million euros, followed by maximum protection on the Großarler Ache and Saalach (seven and six million euros respectively).

Further facts on flood protection in Salzburg
Since 2000, a total of 75 kilometers of river in Salzburg have already been ecologically upgraded by widening watercourses. In addition, more than 300 hectares of land have been acquired and converted into river landscapes. Since 2013, around 120 million euros have been invested in preventive flood protection in Salzburg. Provincial Councillor Sepp Schwaiger (ÖVP): "We have been able to protect around 3100 properties and 16,500 residents." This prevented damage estimated at 200 million euros. 

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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