Wasseraktiv – Living rivers, clean lakes
The platform "Wasseraktiv" offers the public the opportunity to get up-to-date information on water and to participate in campaign events.
Background of Wasseraktiv
In the year 2009, the project "Aktiv für unser Wasser – Lebende Flüsse, saubere Seen" (Active for our water – living rivers, clean lakes) was launched in order to provide the Austrian population an attractive opportunity for involvement under the EU Water Framework Directive. For this purpose, it was necessary to adapt the contents of the Austrian National Water Management Plan (NGP) to make it available in a modern web design, in a manner that is easily understood and clearly laid out. More than 700 comments were submitted in 2009. Ever since then, wasseraktiv has been providing daily information on
- interesting water themes
- event calendar
- map of bodies of water which shows ecological measures along rivers and brooks
- tips on everything relating to the precious resource of water
- when the need arises, current information is provided on topics such as floodwaters and water levels or on the temperature of bathing waters or lake ice thickness
- recently, a water encyclopaedic dictionary has become available online, which provides explanations for more than 50 important technical terms for a non-expert audience.
Both information and activating measures, taking the form of activities, such as photography competitions, online surveys, etc., are intended to raise awareness among Austrian citizens and to provide basic knowledge. This will provide a regular communication and dialogue basis for the participation process, expanding from the periods prescribed by law under the EU Water Framework Directive and the EU Floods Directive to build confidence and mutual understanding in a permanent manner.
This internet platform places special emphasis on interaction. Users can upload water pictures; add a Google map marker and comments. This internet platform is flanked by a popular fan page on Facebook. One of the elements central to platform promotion and networking is link placement on the water websites of other important institutions.
Every year, there are special activities designed to generate traffic, such as the Wasseraktiv Photography Competition in summer. Activities such as these intend to draw the population's attention to this great internet offer and to raise water awareness.
In the future selected water management measures implementing the Austrian National Water Management Plan (NGP) shall also be displayed on the website www.wasseraktiv.at.
The content of Wasseraktiv in detail
The starting page shows entries on special highlights, such as new water management projects, campaigns for the protection of water resources, or the promotion of similar activities, such as the "green jobs" initiative.
A prominent link leads to the “News“, page, featuring interesting topics, events, and tips relating to the valuable resource water and also to tourist attractions on Austrian waters.
The “Events“ page also features news relating to water; but it focusses mainly on public events that are open to the population, such as water festivals, water construction completion events, activities to promote citizen participation or water art activities. Relevant international events are also advertised.
The water map is an interesting tool that allows users to upload pictures of water and waterscapes and to mark their geographic location. There is a comment function for the pictures. As a result, the population has the opportunity to make their water impressions, requests and concerns known to a wide public.
The entry "About Wasseraktiv" provides general information on the website and its mission and keeps the Austrian National Water Management Plan available for download (NGP).
The service part provides reports on press-relevant web pages including photo material, links to water sector institutions as well as addresses of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment, and Water Management and the water management departments of the Austrian Federal Provinces. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Regions and Water Management also offers many interesting publications relating to water. They can be ordered via the website or downloaded. Moreover up-to-date facts and figures relating to Austrian water management such as water levels of Austrian waters are proved as well. A special section is dedicated to participation opportunities in the water sector, such as Flussdialog Österreich.
The water encyclopaedic dictionary (Wasserlexikon) lists central water sector terms in lexical order, such as water and flood control, water ecology, water quality or water as the basis of food and drinking water, and provides simple explanations, also for a non-expert audience.
In the water map (Gewässer-Karte) big and small measures aiming at the improvement of the ecological situation in and along Austrian bodies of water are demonstrated. The development of the water map started in spring 2012 and is currently supplemented by newly implemented measures.
Water Quiz App
Using the app while on the go, knowledge about the Danube as a living and cultural area and also, on a more general note, on the topic of water can be tested and enhanced.
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