Case study:Morava restoration project

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Location: 48° 16' 57", 16° 54' 25"
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Project overview

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Status In progress
Project web site
Themes Economic aspects, Fisheries, Habitat and biodiversity, Hydromorphology, Land use management - agriculture, Social benefits, Water quality
Country Austria, Slovakia
Main contact forename Michael
Main contact surname Stelzhammer
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation WWF Austria
Contact organisation web site
Partner organisations via donau; NÖ Landesfischereiverband
Parent multi-site project
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
Project picture

Project summary

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The Morava River is the largest left-side tributary to the Upper Danube in Central Europe and Austria’s only near natural lowland river with Pannonian character. The frequent flooding is essential for the floodplain’s grassland and forests. Due to regulation and intensification measures in the last century the river is now classified only with a moderate status (according the EC Water Framework Directive) and habitats for endangered species of fauna and flora are limited. There have been a number of restoration projects and implementation measures which aim to restore natural river dynamics and promote appropriate land-use practices within a sensitive floodplain environment. Within the EC supported Life+ project “Restoration of the Lower Morava Floodplains” ambitious restoration measures will be implemented between 2011 and 2017. The aim of the project is to extensively restore near-natural river dynamics in the Lower Morava floodplains, as well as to foster land-use practices, which preserve biodiversity and to specifically preserve endangered species and types of habitats.

Monitoring surveys and results

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See the latest monitoring results on the projects webpage

Lessons learnt

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Catchment and subcatchment


River basin district Danube
River basin Morava


River name Morava
Area category
Area (km2)
Maximum altitude category
Maximum altitude (m)
Dominant geology Calcareous
Ecoregion Alps
Dominant land cover
Waterbody ID


Name Morava
WFD water body codes
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name
Pre-project morphology Straight
Reference morphology Sinuous
Desired post project morphology
Heavily modified water body true
National/international site designation
Local/regional site designations Montreaux list
Protected species present
Invasive species present
Species of interest
Dominant hydrology Quick run-off, Artificially regulated
Dominant substrate Gravel, Bedrock
River corridor land use Extensive agriculture
Average bankfull channel width category
Average bankfull channel width (m)
Average bankfull channel depth category
Average bankfull channel depth (m)
Mean discharge category
Mean annual discharge (m3/s)
Average channel gradient category
Average channel gradient
Average unit stream power (W/m2)

Project background

Reach length directly affected (m) 16000 m
16 km
1,600,000 cm
Project started
Works started 2005/04/01
Works completed 2013/09/09
Project completed
Total cost category 1000 - 5000 k€
Total cost (k€)
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources World Bank

Cost for project phases

Phase cost category cost exact (k€) Lead organisation Contact forename Contact surname
Investigation and design
Stakeholder engagement and communication
Works and works supervision
Post-project management and maintenance

Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure
Hydromorphology Quantity & dynamics of flow, Continuity for organisms, Continuity of sediment transport
Biology Fish: Abundance, Fish: Species composition
Other reasons for the project Flood risk management, Community demand


Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications Creation of groynes, Deflectors
Floodplain / River corridor Dyke relocation, Increase water retention area
Planform / Channel pattern Reconnection of river channels, Adding sinuosity, Reconnection of cutoff meander
Non-structural measures
Management interventions
Social measures (incl. engagement) Land purchase


Hydromorphological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Biological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative
Fish: Abundance Yes Yes Improvement
Fish: Species composition Yes Yes Improvement

Physico-chemical quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Any other monitoring, e.g. social, economic

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative
Public awareness of river Yes Yes Improvement

Monitoring documents

Additional documents and videos

Additional links and references

Link Description MoravaRevitalization KHolubova.pdf&ei=V-YqUtjGNMHcswbf5IDYBQ&usg=AFQjCNFtlC9F5wG0k7-3BJFhgbJBvsCS7g&sig2=EfLe- iGvPMPqEmCLXaYkw&bvm=bv.51773540,d.Yms talk by Katarina Holubova and Franz Steiner Jan Seffer and Viera Stanova Paper on the restoration
http:// proj id=4070#EI EU life webpage

Supplementary Information

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