Water in Vienna and Austria

Few people know that 150 years ago, during the year of the world exhibition in the city, Vienna launched a mountain water pipeline supplying the capital with pure mountain water. Water plays a significant role in Austria in general. Austrian water bodies are not just natural landscapes and transportation routes, but also an essential component of the quality of life and recreation in our country.

Statistical data provides an overview of the volumes of Austrian water resources. Austria is home to 2,194 streams and rivers with a total length of over 100,000 km. We have 25,000 standing water bodies, and 62 of them have a surface area of more than 50 hectares.

In 2019, as part of the water quality control program in Europe, 261 Austrian water bodies used for organized swimming were examined. It was officially recognized that all the water bodies fully comply with the EU water quality requirements, and 257 of them (98.5%) were classified as having excellent quality.

Approximately 90% of the country's population (7.9 million people) receives water from the centralized water supply system, while 10% have their own water sources (waterfalls, fountains, wells). Nearly 22% of the consumed water is used for bathing, almost 25% for toilet flushing, and only 3% for drinking and food preparation. The drinking water quality is so excellent that there's a popular joke that says, "You can buy a bottle of Evian, or you can drink wine or beer for the same money and enjoy Evian straight from the tap."

The source of drinking water for the capital is the Alps (areas of Styria and Lower Austria). Within 36 hours, water (over 400,000 cubic meters daily) flows through pipelines to Vienna without the use of pumps or other accelerators. On its way, the water manages to produce 65 million kilowatt-hours of electricity.

One of Austria's most famous cities, Salzburg, actively utilizes resources from neighboring Bavaria, known for its crystal-clear water, since the time of Ludwig II of Bavaria (Ludwig II von Bayern).