Experts from Danube riparian states meet at Floodplain Institute

[Translate to Englisch:] DALIA-Projekt
© Christian Klenk

An international project titled DALIA (Danube river basin lighthouse – restoration of fresh and transitional water ecosystems) supports the EU's goal to fully explore and restore Europe's marine and freshwater ecosystems by 2030. Restoration measures along the Danube and its tributaries are being evaluated in order to transfer the findings to other European areas. The KU Floodplain Institute is also involved in the project. It has now hosted a conference for DALIA. Partners from nine countries bordering the Danube came to Ingolstadt and Neuburg to discuss the status of the research project and to explore the riparian forest near Neuburg.

For the European collaborative project, which was launched last year, this was the second project meeting after the kick-off. For three days, participants discussed the sub-projects and their progress in presentations and workshops. The program also included a visit to the riparian forest between Neuburg and Ingolstadt. Here, the Floodplain Institute has been researching the effects of restoration measures on water bodies and in floodplain landscapes for around twenty years. Geographers at the KU are now among the leading scientists in this field. The expertise they have gathered in the Danube floodplains is now being integrated into the DALIA project, which is funded by the European Union. The riparian forest near Neuburg serves as one of several best-practice examples of successful restoration measures along the Danube. Insights that were already gained there and in other projects are to be transferred to other European areas and EU funding is to be used in this way with the highest possible chance of success.

Bernd Cyffka
The director of the Floodplain Institute, Bernd Cyffka

The DALIA project is scheduled to run for four years, and a total of 22 expert organizations and institutions such as universities, public authorities, companies and non-governmental organizations from eight European countries are involved. They not only cover the Danube region from Germany to Romania in geographical terms, but also contribute different areas of professional expertise to the project.

The DALIA project aims to compile findings from successful pilot projects and make them available for other river basins. Pilot areas are located in Germany, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The project "Dynamization of the Danube floodplains between Neuburg and Ingolstadt", which has been overseen by the KU Floodplain Institute for years, is the only German pilot area to offer valuable expertise, which will now be used within the framework of DALIA. Accordingly, the pilot area Neuburg can be used to learn how to realize the diversion of a river in order to supply a drained floodplain forest with water again – and how to realize a dynamization of the floodplains in this way, both as regards technical implementation and organization, explains the head of the Floodplain Institute, Prof. Dr. Bernd Cyffka. In this way, a bypass watercourse, the Ottheinrichbach, of eight kilometers in length was partially recreated between Neuburg and Ingolstadt. During the DALIA conference, the experts inspected sections of it and the facilities for bypassing the Danube water into the floodplain forest. The DALIA project once again offers the Floodplain Institute the opportunity to have an impact throughout Europe and to strengthen cooperation with other institutions in other countries, says Cyffka.