Save the Oetz

The Oetztaler Ache is massively threatened by the expansion of the Kaunertal hydropower plant. The planned power plant chain stretches across the entire Oetztal Alps, with 25 m high dams in Venter & Gurgler Ache, a 120 m high dam and reservoir lake in Platzertal. Up to 80% of the water is to be diverted out of the valley: the entire Oetztaler Ache, parts of the Venter & Gurgler Ache would become residual water channels. For Kayakers this would mean: there would be too little water on most sections even in summer – and no runable water levels on any section in autumn. The attractiveness of the Oetztal as a kayaking destination lies in the diversity of the sections as well as the reliable water levels from spring to autumn – all of this is at stake. Help us to protect the Oetztal as an international epicentre for kayaking! Come to the protest in Sölden on 02.10.2022 and SIGN NOW the petition against the expansion of the Kaunertal hydropower plant:

Petition: Stop the Kaunertal Power Plant Expansion.

YES, TO THE PROTECTION OF ALPINE RIVERS. YES, TO A NATURE-FRIENDLY ENERGY TRANSITION. NO, TO THE EXPANSION OF THE KAUNERTAL POWER PLANT

The Oetztal Alps with its numerous glaciers holds the last water reserves of the Eastern Alps, with countless animal and plant species still finding an intact refuge there. This important natural area must not be sacrificed for development and the expansion of the Kaunertal Power Plant threatens catastrophic consequences for man and nature.
Up to 80 percent of the water from the Venter and Gurgler Ache, is to be diverted. These are ecologically critcal glacial rivers and this massive withdrawal of water would serverly impact the water supply for the entire Oetztal valley. In a time when the water reserves stored in snowpack and glaciers are reducing due to climate change this additional stress upon water supply would be completely absurd.

Enormous construction in the middle of the Alps

At the same time, a new dam with a height of 120 metres is to be built in the Platzertal, a hitherto almost untouched high valley. This dam will be almost the height of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, five times the height of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and seven times the height of the Golden Roof in Innsbruck. Behind this, 63,000 square metres of moorland will be lost forever under a reservoir. Moorland that is not only of high ecological value but that also sequesters carbon and is critically important in the fight against climate change.

We can only overcome the climate and ecological crisis with the help of nature. That is why we must protect the last intact natural areas and free-flowing rivers of the Alps.
Politicians and TIWAG must set the course for an energy turnaround that is compatible with nature instead of focusing unilaterally on the construction of new hydropower plants. The enormous Kaunertal Power Plant expansion project is both ecologically damaging and no longer in keeping with the times.

We therefore demand the Tyrolean government:
  • Stop the project to expand the Kaunertal power plant.
  • Ensure protection of the last ecologically intact alpine rivers.
  • Preserve alpine, natural landscapes such as the Platzertal.
  • Chose an energy transition that is compatible with nature.