“Our rivers need sufficient space, the banks close to nature and the rivers as free as possible from obstacles. We are ensuring this with these investments of 200 million euros,” said the minister responsible for water protection Köstinger. Thief added: “According to the EU Environment Agency, 60 percent of domestic waters are in need of renovation! I am therefore very pleased that we are now providing the urgently needed financing for ecological water protection.”
WWF: More measures are needed
The environmental protection organization welcomes in view of the funding pots that have dried out for years WWF This step expressly, but also points to the urgent need for additional measures. “Austria Rivers are extremely built up and regulated. Therefore, it is ecological Rehabilitation offensive long overdue. In order to achieve the standard required by EU law, however, a multiple of the announced funding will still be needed. In addition, politicians have to effectively prevent the ongoing obstruction of the last intact rivers, ”says WWF expert Bettina Urbanek.
According to the Court of Auditors report, there is still a total investment requirement of around 2.7 billion euros in order to achieve the good water status required under the Water Framework Directive. Because currently almost 60 percent of the rivers and streams are only in moderate to poor condition. In addition to the renovation offensive, the Federal government therefore prevent the obstruction of the last free flowing rivers and anchor effective nature protection criteria when awarding green electricity subsidies.