Before the start of the INADAR project, LEW Wasserkraft tested the method of eco-berms at three small test sites in 2016, each 30 meters long, on the Upper Danube (close to the power station of Günzburg). These tests were promising and showed a visible enhancement of the reservoir as a recreational area and an ecological improvement by creating new habitats for animals and plants.
Within the framework of the LIFE project INADAR which was scheduled for a duration of three years, two pilot areas were set up to comprehensively test the eco-berms and evaluate the impacts of the intervention. The pilot sites are located near the power plants (KW) Offingen and Oberelchingen along the river Danube, owned by Obere Donau Kraftwerke AG (ODK). ODK is also the project's financing partner. At Offingen, an eco-berm was installed over a distance of 500 meters in order to remediate the dam and to improve the ecological situation. In addition to this, at the pilot area at Oberelchingen, the dam was raised.
The construction of the eco-berms consisted of two parts. The first part focuses on infrastructural measures, i.e. on the restoration, the raising and the sealing of the dam. Part two consists of ecological measures that guarantee the ecological improvement of the dams and the reservoir. More natural river bank areas, islands and deadwood structures were built in to provide new habitats for flora and fauna and as shelter for juvenile fish. (Read more about the construction of eco-berms here).
Further implementation in other areas
Based on the positive experiences and results during the implementation of the project, LEW Wasserkraft has successfully implemented the eco-berm approach at other sites along the rivers Danube and Lech, and we are planning on implementing the approach at additional sites in the future.
Photo. 1 center: storage at power plant Oberelchingen with the present dam (left), right: pilot site for the eco-berms at the Offingen power plant.
What are the advantages of eco-berms and how does the environment benefit from the approach? Read more about the results of the project and our experiences here.