The problem

A living river or a transport canal?

Old-fashioned river engineering projects put forward by national governments and supported by the European Union could transform our living river into little more than a shipping canal.
Over 1,000 kilometers of the Danube could be artificially deepened, regulated, or dammed, destroying many of Europe’s last great river landscapes and remaining wetland areas.

The projects are being promoted by the European Union as part of  "Corridor VII" of the Trans-European Network of Transportation as well as by national Ministries of Transportation and dredging interests.

Threatened by these developments are the last free-flowing stretches of the Upper Danube, including the Straubing-Vilshofen section in Germany and the Vienna-Bratislava section in Austria; the exceptionally rich wetlands along the Hungarian, Croatian, and Serbian stretches on the Middle Danube; as well as the extremely valuable lower part of the river along the Romania-Bulgarian border and the Romanian section from Calarasi to Braila. In the Danube Delta, the Ukrainian Ministry of Transport has been developing the Bystroye Canal through the core zone of the spectacular Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve.

At stake is the Danube as a living river, including the spectacular natural values but also a multitude of benefits and services on which people depend, from drinking water, water and flood management to fishing, tourism and recreation.
 / ©: Anton Vorauer
River works in the Danube Delta.
© Anton Vorauer

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