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River Dialogues in Austria

In Austria, in recent years, significant investments have been made to achieve high standards in drinking water supply and sanitation. The result is that water pollution has more or less disappeared. Waters are now clean and transparent. All the lakes have a good bathing quality. Currently, the focus is on river ecology and the natural conditions of rivers.

To succeed, Austria has complied with the relevant provisions of the Water Framework Directive*, which aims to promote the stakeholders’ participation in the implementation of the Directive. In this way, it started a “River dialogue” process, in addition to the more formal measures planned in the Directive.

The River dialogue was launched in 2008, all citizens were invited to express their personal vision of the future of the river.

Since 2008, more than 2,200 regional stakeholders in 200 municipalities have been invited to take part in the dialogues. More than 11,000 people participated in the online survey. In total, about 1,500 participants attended each river dialogue. About 440 reports on the conferences have been published.

*European Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council adopted on 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for a comprehensive Community policy in the field of water policy.

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