Power Plants on Danube Operated According to Regulations During Recent Flood

8/23/2002Wien

In view of the statements that were quoted repeatedly in some media reports, according to which a lack of coordination of the power plants on the Danube had led to flooding and thus put people’s lives at risk, VERBUND-Austrian Hydro Power AG (AHP) would like to make quite clear again the following:

The river power plants on the Danube cannot exert any influence on the runoff of a flood. High-water evacuation in the power plants is carried out according to the officially authorized dam operations code, which was adhered to precisely during the recent flooding.

Speculations according to which a lack of coordination between the power plants of Aschach and Ottensheim-Wilhering had led to further flooding in the area around the town of Goldwoerth, which were voiced repeatedly, are entirely unfounded.

The area around Goldwoerth had been inundated during flood events before the power plants were built, e.g. during the flood of 1954; it is a natural retention area. When the power plants were planned, the public authorities defined the areas which had to be preserved as necessary flood plains. The catchment effect of these flood plains is necessary to prevent an aggravation of the situation for the downstream areas during floods. When a certain flow rate is exceeded – and at the recent flood disaster it was exceeded substantially -, water runs out into the area around Goldwoerth via a spillway.