Freshwater - Drivers & Pressures

What are the related drivers and pressures?

Availability of water

Characteristic for the Austrian water management situation is the comparatively large abundance of water. The annual available water yield in Austria is around 84 billion cubic metres, approximately one third of which is groundwater. The mean annual precipitation is 1,170 mm; the annual precipitation varies from more than 2,500 mm in the west to around 500 mm in the east (Figure 6).

Figure 6: Mean annual precipitation, 1961-1990 (BMLFUW, 2007)
Figure 7: Population density (PERMANENT SECRETARIAT OF THE ALPINE CONVENTION, 2009)
Figure 8: CORINE Land cover 2006 (Umweltbundesamt, compiled)
Figure 9: Comparison of the loads entering and leaving municipal waste water treatment plants, 2006 (BMLFUW, 2008A)

Table 3: Nitrogen and Phosphorous emissions into surface waters in the Danube river basin in Austria (BMLFUW, 2010)

Nutrient   Deposition (direct) Surface run-off Erosion Drainages Groundwater discharge Discharge from paved urban areas Point Sources Total
N  [t/a] 2,310 16,790 2,970 3,370 36,370 2,530 15,200 79,540
N  [%] 2,9% 21,1% 3,7% 4,2% 45,7% 3,2% 19,1% 100,0%
P  [t/a] 48 559 3,069 17 652 399 1,204 5,948
P [%] 0,8% 9,4% 51,6% 0,3% 11,0% 6,7% 20,2% 100,0%
Figure 10: Development of the nitrogen balance, kg of N per hectare of agricultural area (BMLFUW, 2008B)