Modul 4: Wassernutzungs-Konflikte im Alpenraum

Chair: Roland Psenner (EURAC Bozen) & Günter Köck (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften)

Wasserressourcen spielen nicht nur in den Alpen, sondern auch in weiten Teilen Europas eine besondere Rolle. Sie treten in verschiedenen Formen auf, sind stark miteinander vernetzt, gehören verschiedenen Ländern und Verwaltungseinheiten an und bieten Lebensraum für reiche und besonders vielfältige Organismengruppen. Die sich ändernden Umwelt- und Klimabedingungen sowie die steigende Nachfrage dürften jedoch zu Konflikten bei der Wassernutzung führen und bestehende Auseinandersetzungen um wasserwirtschaftliche Strategien verschärfen. In der Sitzung werden Hot Spots der Wassernutzung und -bewirtschaftung identifiziert, Zielkonflikte analysiert, ihre Relevanz im regionalen, nationalen und internationalen Kontext bewertet und Lösungsmöglichkeiten diskutiert.

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Klaus Lanz (International Water Affairs): Wasserbezogene Konflikte in den Alpen – Ergebnisse der Workshops aus Modul 1 und Perspektiven


Robert Steiger (Universität Innsbruck): Kunstschnee – Fallstudie zu einer konfliktreichen Wassernutzung


Joze Papež (Slowenien): Ergebnisse der 7. Wasserkonferenz (Module 2 and 3)

Workshop 4.1 – Local water use: water supply, agriculture, tourism

Chair: Heike Zimmermann-Timm (Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main)


While the climate change and its effects on the water balance in the mountains have attracted considerable attention, the land-use change and water management at the different spatial scales in the Alps have so far received much less attention. Within the framework of this session, examples will be introduced which aim to bridge the gap between theory and practice, such as in agricultural irrigation. Further, the examples do not tie decisions on the water balance to political boundaries and involve the affected parties more actively in decision making processes.  The presented examples will be critically discussed to determine if a paradigm shift is indicated and what role identifying with common objectives plays in the success.



Oliver Ike: Problem of private or public use of water resources: Case study Val Masino

Calianno Martin: Is Alpine irrigation overestimated?

Simone Persiano, Alessio Pugliese, Alberto Aloe , Jon Olav Skøien , Stefano Bagli, Paolo Mazzoli, Juraj Parajka, Berit Arheimer, René Capell , Alberto Pistocchi, Alberto Montanari, Günter Blöschl & Attilio Castellarin: Transboundary water supply assessment of surface water resource availability: application in Danube and Tyrol

Primoz Pipan, Mateja Smid Hribar & Mimi Urbanc: The role of local community in governing water as a common-pool resource


Workshop 4.2 – Energy production

Chair: Peter Hanisch (DonauConsult)


The presentations show the variety of conflicts arising from hydropower generation in Alpine surroundings. They serve as input for the discussion on how much society is ready to „pay“ for the preservation of intact ecosystems or in return for their optimized use. Scale level and dimensions taken into account have a significant impact on the result of the evaluation, as well as the need to shift objectives between different spatial, ecological or socio-economic subsystems.
The objective of the discussion will be to propose how scientific research, technical practice and economic actors can agree on a common approach for evaluation and implementation of hydropower projects that provides democratic legitimacy for the decision process accepted by the society.



Wolfram Sparber (EURAC Bolzano): Topic open

Lutz E. Schlange & Werner Hediger: Sustainability assessment of hydropower from a stakeholder perspective

Monica Camuffo, Giovanna Deppi, Luigina Malvestio & Lucia Ruffato: Small hydropower plants: A critique related to the Belluno area (Italy)

Christian Schlüchter, Thomas Scheurer: Impacts and risks of reservoirs: The case of reservoirs along the Spöl river

Daniel Hayes & Julia Brändle: Preserving Alpine Floodplain rivers through functional floodplain flows



Workshop 4.3 – Tourism

Chair: Philippe Bourdeau (University Grenoble Alpes)


While water has become a central resource of the summer and winter tourist experience and economy in the mountains, its increasing uses (sports and leisure activities, well-being, cultural snow…) make it a common good with stakes facing the risks of shortage and competition between recreational and utilitarian uses (daily life, agriculture, industry). The workshop will address key questions for the prospective of recreational uses of water in the mountains:
– What know-how for regulating water uses between the tourism sector and other activities, and vis-à-vis the downstream watersheds?
– What governance of water between public and private actors?
– What are the benefits of integrated water management systems?



Jernej Stritih, Matjaž Harmel & Klemen Strmšnik: Valuation of recreation related ecosystem services on Soča (Slovenia) and Tara (Montenegro) rivers

Emmanuel Reynard, Martin Calianno, Marianne Milano & Christophe Clivaz: Integrated Water Resource Management in tourist areas: moving from the hydrological basin to the water use basin

Summary of Conference Water & tourism 2017 in Crans Montana (Switzerland)

Massimiliano Fazzini: On the recent variation of the „Snow Reliability Line“ in the south-eastern Alps



Workshop 4.4 – Ecological integrity of rivers

Chair: Leopold Füreder (University of Innsbruck)


Alpine rivers play a particular role in the Alps, their surroundings and over large areas of Europe. They occur in various forms, are highly interlinked, cover surfaces involving different countries and administrative levels, provide habitats for a rich and particular biodiversity, but also suffer from multiple demands and use. A wide spectrum of anthropogenic impacts has resulted in an alteration of catchments and discharging rivers, sometimes even in a complete disruption of river systems. Several national and international directives for their protection and sustainable use as well as improvements of their ecological status are in place and contribute to the high conflict potential. Here, we discuss a) the ecological status of rivers in the Alpine regions, b) look at conflict scenarios and key management measures, and c) propose innovative projects and concepts towards a sustainable ecological integrity.



Susanne Muhar & Carina Seliger: Overview of the environmental conditions of the rivers of the Alps

Roberto Epple: The Wild Rivers Label – an effective tool to conserve alpine river landscapes?

Gebhard Tschavoll: WWF Austria – River Restoration Concept

Andrea Cottini, Filippo Miotto, Marzia Ciampittiello, Angelo Boggero & Stefania Cerutti: Clean Water Project – San Giovanni Torrent (Italy)

Stefanie Oberarzbacher, Erich Tasser & Wolfgang Mark: Holistic (multiscale) analysis of the factors and their effect on the fish fauna in inner-Alpine space




Modul 5: Lösung von Wassernutzungs-Konflikten

Chair: Valerie Braun IGF Innsbruck)

Der wachsende Bedarf und die Verfügbarkeit alpiner Wasserressourcen für Wasserversorgung, Energieerzeugung und Tourismus in Europa macht die Zukunft der Wasserressourcen für die lokale Bevölkerung, Wirtschaft und Politik relevant. Darüber hinaus gelten die Alpen als der Wasserturm Europas, der das Flachland mit Wasser für landwirtschaftliche, häusliche und industrielle Zwecke versorgt. Die alpinen Wasserressourcen sind durch den Klimawandel bedroht und können zu sozialen Konflikten führen. In diesem Modul werden vergangene, gegenwärtige und zukünftige Konflikte im Zusammenhang mit Wasser diskutiert.


Martin Grambow (Munich): Water as a cause for conflicts


Klaus Michor (Revital): Participative processes in water management

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Workshop 5.1 – Learning from the past

Learning from the past for the management of present and future water-related conflicts: Dealing with floods and flood risk in historical Alpine societies


Chair: Patrick Kupper (Institute of History and European Ethnology, University of Innsbruck)


Conflicts over water use and water management have affected historical societies in the Alps at least since the Middle Ages. As water had been a common good in many Alpine regions, people had to find solutions how to share the costs for water supply and flood protection and how to avoid significant disadvantages for the one party caused by initiatives of another party. This workshop wants to shed light on historical adaptation and coping strategies towards floods in 18th to 20th century Austria and Switzerland and will highlight the question, why learning from the past will also help dealing with conflicts over water and flood management today and in the future.



Reinhard Nießner (Institute of History and European Ethnology, Univ. of Innsbruck): The 1989 Flooding of Innsbruck: Human Induced Disaster, Social Conflict and Contemporary Challenges

Melanie Salvisberg (University of Berne): Taming the torrent? Flood control and conflicts of interest at the Gürbe River (Canton of Bern) from the 19th century until today

Christian Rohr (University of Berne): Avoiding conflicts by revisiting historical experience? Flood marks and their use for disaster memory past and present



Workshop 5.2 – Integrated river basin management

Including a coffee break

Chair: Susanne Muhar (BOKU Vienna) & Primoz Skrt (Alpine Space)


The Interreg Alpine Space project “SPARE” aims to harmonize the protection and development of Alpine river ecosystems. After more than two years of intensive work, SPARE shares some first results: An interactive workshop will be held to present, test and discuss an online database of reference cases, which shall support practitioners and decision makers by introducing existing solutions of Integrated River Ecosystem Management (IREM). Also, one of the five SPARE pilot areas will present itself and the participatory process that was started to develop long-term solutions to balance the use and protection of the Inn River Basin in the Engadine valley.



Susanne Muhar & Kerstin Böck: SPARE – Strategic Planning for Alpine River Ecosystems Integrating protection and development

Saso Santl & Urska Kocijancic: A reference database to support practitioners toward Integrated River Ecosystem Management

Angelika Abderhalden & Barbara Grüner: Integrated River Basin Management in the Inn River Basin (CH)

Primoz Skrt (Interreg Alpine Space): Integrated river basin management in the Alpine Space – Lessons learnt from past projects



Workshop 5.3 – Mitigating future water conflicts

Including a coffee break

Chair: Susanne Brandstetter (BMNT)


River dialogue –The “River dialogue” format has been developed by the Austrian Federal Ministry responsible for Environment and Water Management and the regional government of Upper Austria. More broadly seen, it is about stakeholder involvement and dialogue processes in the field of Water and integrated river basin management (IRBM). 13 River Dialogues have been held in 10 river catchments of Austria, one transboundary with Bavaria (Untere Salzach). At the Forum Alpinum 2018, there is a parallel workshop on IRBM. So the present one will mainly focus on the following topics (while embracing the submitted inputs): 1) Main obstacles for a successful dialogue, and how to prevent/mitigate them 2) Defining the scope – how to take the river basin system into account, while not neglecting the local perspective? 3) How to make sure all concerned stakeholders can participate in an equitable and fair way? 4) The role of brokers and facilitators 5) The specific challenge of transboundary dialogue processes.



Roland Köck, Hubert Siegel, Elisabeth Gerhardt & Eduard Hochbichler: Best Management Practices within forested drinking water protection zones

Bettina Urbanek: How NGOs can contribute to water governance on different levels: from EU Water Framework directive to regional management planning

Thomas Thaler: Sebastian Seebauer: Planned retreat as an option for the European Alps? To whom, what and when we have to talk


Workshop 5.4 – Alpine multi-purpose reservoirs: Future potential and relevance

Including a coffee break

Chair: Astrid Björnsen Gurung (WSL) & Petra Schmocker-Fackel (BAFU)


Concerns about water scarcity and related conflicts are almost absent in Switzerland. Yet, both the summer drought of 2003 and the anticipated impacts of climate change on alpine water resources remind us about the increased probability of local water shortages towards the end of this century. Multi-purpose reservoirs might alleviate the negative effects of regime shifts triggered by rising temperature, reduced snow pack and glacier melt. Ideally, such reservoirs would meet various demands, such as electricity production, agricultural irrigation, snow-making, drinking water supply, ecological needs and flood control. But is this realistic? Can reservoirs, glacier lakes and other natural or artificial ponds indeed hold back enough water to compensate for the anticipated losses? This workshop presents the framework, methodology and first insights from the project Swiss Water Potentials.



Manuela Brunner & Manfred Stähli (Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Switzerland): The “Hydro-CH2018 Reservoir” Project


Elke Kellner (Bern University,  Switzerland): Evolving polycentric climate governance: The case of multifunctional water use in Oberhasli, Switzerland


Gottfried Gökler (Vorarlberger Illwerke AG, Austria): Management options for Alpine multi-purpose reservoirs


Melanie Clivaz, Emmanuel Reynard (University of Lausanne): Contribution of dam reservoirs to Alpine society under changing context: social-economic and ecological trajectories. A case study in Valais (Swiss Alps)


Marion Douarche (CIMEO agence pour l’eau en montagne, France): One extraction – Several uses: A case study from France


Öffentlichen Debatte als Schlusspunkt

Wasserkonflikte in den Alpen – und im Lechtal?

Anette Kestler (Naturpark Tiroler Lech)

Was ist zu tun, um (zukünftige) Konflikte in der Wassernutzung zu lösen?

Chair: Klaus Lanz
Podiumsteilnehmende: Leopold Füreder(ISCAR), Astrid Björnsen Gurung (Forschungsanstalt WSL), Elisabeth Sötz (WWF Österreich), Gaia Checcucci (Generaldirektorin, Italienisches Umweltministerium), Anette Kestler (Naturpark Tiroler Lech)

Schlusswort von Leopold Füreder

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Filmabend " 5 Grad Plus - Wie das Klima unsere Welt verändert" (ORF Universum)