3rd Partner Meeting and Study Visit at DALIA Demo Site 2: Reconnected Floodplain

9-11/4/2024 took place 3rd Partner Meeting and Study visit at DALIA Demo Site 2: Reconnected Floodplain

The 3rd Partner meeting of the DALIA Danube project took place on the 9th-11th of April 2024 in Ingolstadt, Germany. Our Partners from the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt and the Aueninstitut Neuburg-Ingolstadt who are developing the scientific activities in Demo Site 2: Reconnected Floodplain hosted the event at IG Metall Ingolstadt – „Gewerkschaftshaus“.

The project partners participated to reflect on DALIA’s progress after almost 1,5 years of activities and to discuss the next steps amid the project development. 

Study visit

The partner meeting was the perfect opportunity for a study visit to the 2nd DALIA’s demo site (DPS2), located between the Bergheim barrage and Ingolstadt on the left side of the Danube. DPS2 aims to re-connect the floodplain by technically re-establishing the hydrologic dynamics and restoring the ecologic functions of the floodplain along a stretch of the Upper Danube in Bavaria, Germany to their 19th-century state, before human active interventions were applied.

With a series of complementary measures (presented below), dynamic water conditions are re-created to ensure continuity for aquatic life and restore the connection between the Danube and its floodplain. The benefits of the "Dynamization of the Danube Floodplain between Neuburg and Ingolstadt" project regarding vegetation hydromorphology, water quality, groundwater dynamics, and wildlife corridors for fishes and fauna are visible, marking a successful rejuvenation effort.

Re-connection of the Danube with its floodplain: An eight-kilometer-long watercourse/detour structure (Ottheinrichbach) was constructed to restore continuity, and groundwater dynamics by connecting the headwaters and tailwaters of the Bergheim barrage. The Ottheinrichbach serves as a bypass watercourse for fish, contributing to the reactivation of floodplain-typical conditions.

Ecological floodings: An overspill weir was reconstructed at the Bergheim barrage to enable ecological floodings. 2-3 times a year, controlled small floods, known as “flood pulses” channel Danube waters into the forest, mimicking natural floodplain dynamics. This enhances diversity and structures the floodplain forest.

Lowering the groundwater: By constructing a 2.1 km drainage ditch, groundwater fluctuations are balanced, replicating the natural dry phases and creating alternating water zones in the “Old Danube”. This measure aimed to increase groundwater fluctuations in the eastern project area and lower unnaturally high groundwater levels resulting from the construction of the barrage.

DALIA 3rd partner meeting (3)

Bernd Cyffka explains the interaction of the three measures to the field trip participants: bypass river, controlled flooding, and groundwater drawdown.


In view of the upcoming open call “RIVERS REVIVED”, launching on May 24th and offering up to 100k for river restoration activities, it is essential to highlight the significance of mimicking nature’s solutions. Diving into the potential impact that similar measures can bring to countries across the EU, the activities of DALIA’s DPS2 can be a powerful restoration best practice.


The project DALIA Danube Lighthouse is funded under the EU Horizon program to support the EU Mission Restore our Oceans and Waters and the Danube Lighthouse. This unique Lighthouse addresses the major issue of water quality and ecosystem restoration in the 2nd longest river in Europe crossing 10 EU countries, affecting millions of lives, and fostering economic activity while being home to unique species. Sustainably managing the water resources is crucial for future generations.

Written by:
Anastasia Perouli,
DALIA Communications Team
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