The Ötztaler Ache is the largest free-flowing river in Tyrol. Most of its water comes from the huge glaciers in the far end of Ötztal, 13% of the catchment area is glaciated! This is something very special and determines the river’s character. In winter it is only a trickle, in summer its water, fed by the glaciers, has the power to move boulders the size of a truck. In the middle of the river Ache there is a drop of almost 80 m: at the Achstürze at Tumpen the water falls down over huge boulders. The section belongs to the only 0.6% of rivers in Tyrol that are classified as ‚unique‘, and to the 3% that are classified as ’sensitive‘. The Achstürze is very rare and extremely worthy of preservation – it is unique and valuable to all of us: so we should protect it!
The European Water Framework Directive demands for systematic improvement and for no further deterioration of the status of all waters. The Achstürze is classified as ‚hydromorphologically very good‘ (in two out of three components) and the planned water drainage would detoriate this status to a lower classification. Therefore the only way to legally build the planned hydro power station is because it is of ‚public interest‘. The question is: is there actually a public interest or benefit in this hydroelectric power station? Is it worth damming and diverting the Ötztaler Ache and depriving it of flowing freely – for less than 15 MW of electricity? Or is it rather of public interest to protect the unique and rare character of one of the last free flowing rivers in Tirol?
Construction work on the planned Tumpen-Habichen power plant have already begun in March 2020. If you want to show what you consider a ‚public interest‘ and what not and want to protect the Ötztaler Ache, then sign our petition, tell your friends, spread the word!
Links and sources (german only)