Water is one of Austria's most valuable resources. It is not for nothing that a line in the national anthem is dedicated to water. In 2021, too, the water quality in Austria will receive an excellent rating: 99.6% of the 261 water bodies examined were rated “excellent” or “good”. This puts Austria in second place EU-wide and assures excellent bathing water quality.
But Austria is not only a leader in terms of water quality. We are also at the forefront when it comes to water consumption, and in this EU-wide comparison, we are in 3rd place. In Austria's households, the average water consumption is around 130 litres per day and person. Most of the water is used for flushing toilets, closely followed by showering and bathing. In order to save valuable water, there is still a lot of room for improvement.
Tip: if you retrofit your toilet cistern with a water stop device, you can save up to 65% water every time you flush. These useful little devices are available at all hardware stores and are easy to attach.
Who needs the sea when I have all these beautiful lakes?
Turquoise lakes, refreshing mountain streams, thundering waterfalls & picturesque floodplain landscapes: if you travel around Austria, you will definitely come across water. No wonder, because with an average rainfall of 92 km³ of water per year, Austria is one of the most water-rich countries in Europe. There are over 25,000 standing bodies of water with an area larger than 250 m². Of these, 62 can be described as large lakes, because their area is over 50 hectares, the equivalent of around 4000 football fields! All of these bodies of water have a total area of around 613 km². This corresponds to approx. 0.7% of the national area. In addition to the lakes, there is also a river network with a total length of around 100,000 km.
Fish of the Year 2021
Last but not least: the grayling won the competition for the fish of the year 2021! This species of fish was so common in the past that a specific section of a river was even named after it - the so-called grayling region. Unfortunately, the grayling population has plummeted over the years. The main cause is the destruction of their natural habitat because free-flowing stretches of water without obstructions are a rarity these days. We are therefore paying particular attention this year to the grayling, whose main feature is the distinctive dorsal fin that shimmers in rainbow colours!