Aims of the project

Many dams at barrages are now in need of restoration and must be elevated for flood protection due to increased requirements. For dam elevation the dam is usually widened on the air side, resulting in higher land consumption and damages in the alluvial forest (often FFH areas). Usually extensive authorization procedures are necessary and high costs for the rehabilitation occur.

As part of the LIFE-project INADAR, an innovative approach for ecological dam restoration is developed and implemented in 2 test sections. The restoration or elevation of the dams and the improvement of the ecological situation according to the Water Framework Directive (WFD) should be fulfilled effectively and economically in one process. The focus is the installation of the so-called “eco-berms” that ensure dam stability as well as the improvement of the ecological situation in the riparian zones. Due to the implementation of the measures solely on the water side damages on the alluvial forest can be completely avoided.

The specific project objectives are therefore:

  • Efficient rehabilitation of embankments with and without dam elevation• Significant improvement of the ecological situation in the shore areas
  • Avoidance of damages in the existing riparian forests (mostly FFH – areas)
  • Lower costs for dam restorations and dam elevation and thus lower barriers for necessary flood protection measures and environmental improvements
  • Development of simplified approval processes, by developing general conditions for the application of eco-berms together with the concerned stakeholders

The eco-berms are suitable for all dams, where the water  flow capacity doesn’t play a key role for flood protection, e.g. in the storage area of power plants  or waterways.Versuchsstrecken ODK

For the pilot approach in the Upper Danube two pilot projects are developed under the control of the BEW (Lechwerke Wasserkraft GmbH) in partnership with regional actors. The project is accompanied and evaluated by the University of Innsbruck, the Aueninstitut Neuburg / Donau and the TU Munich.

Status of the progress and outlook

Within the next months, the measures for the test sections at the sites power plant Offingen and power plant Oberelchingen will be planned in detail. In parallel, the evaluation concept is developed. First surveys of the actual situation, which serves as a reference state for the impact of the eco-berms, are realized. The installation of the test section in the storage space Offingen is planned for fall 2016, the test section at the power plant Oberelchingen probably is built in the spring 2017.

Other aspects that will be part of the project include simplifying the approval processes together with the relevant stakeholders as well as the promotion of the project results on  EU level.


Both sites, Offingen and Oberelchingen, which serve as pilot scheme for the INADAR-project can be regarded in the subsequent visualization. Additionally, are further locations operated by the BEW presented and able to be observed in an interactive way.