Protest in the Ötz Valley 2020

Protest in the Ötz Valley 2020

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Demonstration October 3rd 2020 – 10:00am

On Saturday, October 3rd, we invite everyone to join us in our protest for a free-flowing Ötztaler Ache river!
We will form a long chain of people, banners, kayaks, rafts, fishing rods, paddles and everything else that is important to you to show why the Ötztaler Ache is worth flowing freely!

Start is on Saturday, 3rd of October at 10:00am

To make sure that we comply with all Corona regulations, we will gather in small groups at various meeting points to join the protest queue from there. Each of us and you is supposed to bring any object, which we will then hold between each two people.

So, get going painting banners and bring your kayaks!

We will post updates here, where exactly the different meeting points will be.


Why and for what are we protesting?

In the Ötz valley there have long been plans to use the entire catchment area of the Ötztaler Ache river for energy purposes.
The expansion of the Kühtai power plant has now begun. Three tributaries of the Ötztaler Ache will be diverted into Kühtai.

Although there is still a legal dispute about the Tumpen-Habichen power plant, construction was nevertheless started this year in March. In the meantime, the construction site is well advanced. However, the WWF has filed an extraordinary appeal against the nature conservation permit with the Supreme Court in Vienna, which is now being dealt with.

In addition to that there are also plans to expand the Kaunertal power station. For this purpose, the Venter Ache, the Gurgler Ache and two tributaries of the Gurgler Ache are to be diverted and transferred to the Platzertal. In total, the Ötztaler Ache will then lack 80m³/s of water when all the catchments are fully in place.

Click here for our blog post „Planned hydro power projects in Ötztal“ from March 25th 2020.

All these expansion plans would have serious consequences for the Ötz Valley, its water and its river: With the derivation of the ‚Achstürze‘ section of the Ötz river for the Tumpen-Habichen power plant, a section of the river will suffer, which is classified as ’sensitive‘ and ‚unique‘ and is therefore ‚worth protecting‘. With the construction of this weir the Ötz river loses its ecological continuity. The derivations to other valleys mean that the inhabitants of the Ötz valley lose their water rights to 43% of the Ötz river’s catchment area – including the glaciers! This water would be missing – for example for irrigating the fields. 

On the other hand, it is questionable whether the massive expansion of hydroelectric power in Tyrol will even be needed to cover future electricity needs. Studies, e.g. by the WWF, show that the plans are clearly exaggerated.

Therefore we will protest in October for a free-flowing Ötz river and against excessive hydropower expansion in Tyrol! Be there!

Info evening on Friday, October 2nd

On the evening before the protest there will be a small, cosy information session. More information will follow soon here!




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