Liveable Rivers
15 years of subsidising river restoration in Austria

Liveable Rivers

To invest in our rivers and streams is to invest in our future

Rivers and streams shape our landscape and not only provide habitats for various animals and plants, they are also of immense importance to humans. Near-natural rivers and streams provide space to engage in recreational activities, thus increase our well-being and health, and attract tourism.

For centuries, rivers and streams have been altered by society, resulting in the loss of habitats and biodiversity. Today, riverine landscapes are among the most endangered ecosystems. To improve the ecological status of rivers and streams in Austria, numerous measures need to be implemented. River restoration aims to give rivers and streams more space to achieve improved natural water retention as well as improved habitat diversity and upstream and downstream connectivity.

To reduce possible financial obstacles regarding the implementation of measures to improve the ecological status of rivers and streams, the Austrian Federal Government created a funding programme for river restoration within the framework of the “Umweltförderungsgesetz” (UFG) – the Austrian Environmental Support Act. These subsidies have led to the implementation of numerous projects within the last 15 years. Consequently, continuing financial support for investments in the improvement of riverine ecosystems remains important. To invest in river restoration is to invest in both humans’ and animals’ quality of life. Additionally, it is a driving force for the Austrian economy and an investment in the future. This brochure provides information on successfully implemented projects and their positive impact on the environment and the economy. Every contribution to intact aquatic ecosystems is essential and ensures lively riverine landscapes and floodplains for all of us.

Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Regions and Water management
Department I/7 - Water Management in residential areas
Directorate General I – Water Management, Department I/2 - National and International Water Management and Department I/7 - Water Management in residential areas
Wasser allgemein Fließgewässer Wasserwirtschaft, Wasserpolitik