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Queichwiesen – reactivation of water meadows: a great step forward

 by Pirmin Hilsendegen, May 2014

oberhochstadter wehr vor, bei und nach der sanierung

     Weir "Oberhochstadter Wehr" prior to, during, and after its restoration

On the 14th of May the weir called “Oberhochstadter Wehr” was formally dedicated. The restoration of the weir, that had been in a near derelict condition, has become a necessary issue:
Firstly, to meet the requirements of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) by re-establishing the longitudinal stream continuity for fish, and secondly to maintain and re-enable the operation of  traditional meadow irrigation in the Queich floodplain, which is part of the FFH area and bird reserve site “Bellheimer Wald und Queichtal“. Therefor also a comprehensive restoration of the traditional irrigation system of "Hochstadt" was realized, i.e. irrigation ditches were renewed as well as a lot of conduits and quite a few hatches in the irrigation ditches installed. By those measures in total costs of 1.1 million € incurred to the Verbandsgemeinde Offenbach; 90% thereof were born by the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate due to funding in the framework of the programme “Aktion Blau Plus” (see background document; 1.3 MB pdf, in German).

Consequently, regular meadow irrigation operation has been made possible in an area of about 95 ha located in the municipalities of Offenbach and Hochstadt. Overall the Queichwiesen area incorporates now again more than 400 ha of traditionally irrigable meadows.

queich einweihungsfeier fotos
       Retrofitting of the ditch system (winter 2013/14)             Dedication ceremony                                                     Presentation of the cultural heritage idea by Christian Leibundgut on that occasion

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