Most likely you have seen one or the other post about the dam on the Oetz river in Tyrol. I thought it might help to write a short recap of what has happened to make it easier for you to understand what is going on at the moment.

It started in march 2020 when they began to build the hydro power plant without all the legal permissions. WET – a club that fights for the rivers in tyrol – together with the „Free rivers fund“, „Save our rivers“ and the WWF created a petition against it. Additionally to that, while the petition was spreading through the internet, they a made a e-mail template so everybody could easily send a complaining e-mail to the government. To our all surprise, the government replied! If you are interested in what they said, check this link: http://stubaiwasser.at/email-tyrolean-government/
It also shows a fact based reply by WET to what the government is saying.

After that, they organized a demonstration where the involved clubs handed over the petition to the government. The petition was signed by 22.800 people!!!
When the petition was handed over, the politicians made a statement. There was a short amount of time to ask questions and as it came to a discussion between a female activist of the WWF and Josef Geisler, he called her a „disgusting slut“.
Let’s see where this leads to in the next weeks!

Finally some notes about how the hydro plant would look like if it was built:
They are planning a diversion hydro power plant in the Ötz Valley. From above Achstürze Falls the river’s natural flow will be diverted through pipes. This power plant would be the first in an otherwise free-flowing Ache river. With Achstürze Falls running dry, this steep and ecologically unique section of waterfalls would be lost. This would also seriously affect the river section below, the ‘Wellerbrücke’ rapids the world famous run of the Sickline Extreme Kayaking World Championships. The upper section of the Wellerbrücke would run dry, and the lower section would no longer follow a natural flow regime – instead the levels would rise and fall according to how much energy the electricity company chooses to sell. The residents living near the planned reservoir in Tumpen are rightly concerned of the increased flood risk for Tumpen and Habichen. With the risk of a flash flood the Wellerbrücke section would be too dangerous as it is so steep and difficult, so small changes of the waterlevel can be a serious problem.

-Andi Brunner