Freshwater - State & Impacts
What are the state and impacts?
Austria has a part in three international river basins: 96% of the country drains into the Danube, 3% into the Rhine and 1% into the Elbe.
The Austrian network of 7,335 surface water bodies with a catchment area >10 km2 is about 31,000 km in length of running waters (BMLFUW, 2010 [Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management]).
Natural surface water bodies without modified or artificial waters account for 88% of the network. Sixteen percent of these have a high ecological status, 23% have a good one, 51% have a moderate, 8% a poor and 2% a bad ecological status (Figure 1).
Around 12% of this network has been heavily modified or consists of artificial waters (e.g. such areas where water is retained for energy production). Of these, at present 87% do not have a good potential, since in particular measures for improving hydromorphological conditions are still possible.
Table 1: Number of water bodies in which the quality standards for pollutants are exceeded (BMLFUW, 2010)
|Number of water bodies|
Table 2: Nitrate concentrations in running waters in Austria, 2003-2007 (BMLFUW, 2008B - modified)
|Nitrate concentration in running waters 03/07 - Concentration in classes|
|Concentration in mg NO3/l||0 - 1.99||2 - 9.99||10 - 24.99||25 - 39.99||40 -50||> 50|
|0-0.45mg NO3-N/l||0.452-2.257mg NO3-N/l||2.259-5.645mg NO3-N/l||5.648-9.034mg NO3-N/l||9.036-11.3mg NO3-N/l||>11.3mg NO3-N/l|
|Number of monitoring stations per concentration class|
|Mean value (winter period)||39||164||58||4||0||0|
|Percentage of monitoring stations refered to the total number of monitoring stations|
|Mean value (winter period)||14.7||61.8||22.0||1.5||0.0||0.0|