Federal Waterways Administration

A ship in autumn

Waterways: an alternative mode of transport with environmental and financial benefits

Construction and maintenance of Austria’s waterways

Under § 2 (1) of the Waterways Act, Federal Gazette (BGBl.) I No 177/2004, the Federal Waterways Administration has special responsibility for:

  1. Regulating, maintaining and developing watercourses;
  2. Flood defences, including preparation and implementation of measures to prevent flooding and safely discharge flood water; avoidance of flood damage, except for the construction of flood barriers on the Danube;
  3. Monitoring water quality and participating in measures to reduce water pollution;
  4. Riparian management including improvements to the living conditions of flora and fauna on waterway banks and in riparian areas;
  5. Planning, construction and maintenance of towpaths under § (2) line 26 of the Navigation Act;
  6. Construction and maintenance of federal ports and land under § 33 (2) of the Navigation Act;
  7. Hydrographic services and measures to optimize discharge under the 1959 Water Rights Act (WRG), BGBl. No 215), in particular the measurement, sampling, updating and processing of data required for those purposes, together with transmission of the data to the appropriate local authority departments and the establishment and maintenance of relevant measuring stations;
  8. Federal agendas set under the Federal Act on the Establishment of a Danube Flood Protection Association (Donauhochwasserschutz-Konkurrenz), BGBl. No 372/1927, and the Federal Act on Staff of the Danube Flood Protection Association, BGBl. No 367/1973;
  9. Discharge of obligations incumbent on the Republic of Austria under bilateral and international agreements, in particular concerning the control and maintenance of waterways; these include the elimination of bottlenecks on the Danube as required by the European Union’s guidelines on trans-European networks – TENs (integrated river engineering project) and membership of relevant international waterway commissions under § 1;
  10. Management of public water bodies and related land areas;
  11. Management of federal property and other assets in performance of the tasks listed in lines 1 to 10;
  12. Tasks pursuant to the Funding of Water Infrastructure Act (WBFG), BGBl. No. 148/1985.

Operations under this remit are conducted for the Federal Ministry by via donau - Österreichische Wasserstraßen-Gesellschaft mbH, which is a federal agency.