Letting the Thur river flow, naturally again

The Thur is Eastern Switzerland’s predominant river, flowing from the limestone Alps into the Rhine river on the border with Germany. The name Thur comes from the Indo-European word dhu, meaning “the hurrying one”. And hurrying it does, sometimes spilling over its own banks and flooding adjacent land. Without any natural or artificial retention areas, the river caused at times great havoc. Today the basin benefits from nature-based solutions to absorb the excess water whilst the river flows, and hurries, the natural way again.

Thur River as it appears today after the restoration works

“Extreme events such as flooding will only increase in the coming decades due to climate change. The intensity and duration of these extreme events is worrying and require us to invest much more in mitigation strategies, backed by strong legislation and financial commitments”.

Mario Schirmer, EAWAG hydrogeologist in charge of the Thur River Basin restoration project.

“Involving all stakeholders, from local municipalities to farmers to riverine populations, is key in achieving a successful restoration project, and this from the very beginning of the undertaking”

“At the onset of the project management design a thorough feasibility study needs to be undertaken, and obviously working with the contracting offers that are best, not necessarily cheapest”.

Mario Schirmer, EAWAG hydrogeologist in charge of the Thur River Basin restoration project.

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Reconect

The RECONECT project demonstrates the effectiveness of Nature-Based Solutions for hydro-meteorological risk reduction in rural and natural areas www.reconect.eu