Enlarged representation
InfrastructureOthers reading time: 8 min publication date: 12.04.2024


© Stadt Villach | Karin Wernig

On Friday, April 12th, the ground-breaking ceremony took place for the flood protection project in the Drau, Gail, and Seebach areas. The federal government, the state of Carinthia, Verbund, and the city of Villach are investing millions of euros in safety measures.


Natural disasters are becoming more frequent. For example, the devastating storm that struck the Gegendtal region in 2022. It claimed a life and caused millions of dollars worth of damages to private homes, businesses, and public facilities. To prevent similarly disastrous events in the future, the federal government, the state of Carinthia, Verbund, and the city of Villach are investing in flood protection in the Drau, Gail, and Seebach areas. The construction costs for the first of three sections amount to 7.6 million euros. The official ground-breaking ceremony for the recently initiated project took place on Friday, April 12th.

Welcome2Villach Zitat

"Investments in flood protection are vital. Recent history has repeatedly shown us how quickly a catastrophe can occur. Measures like these are essential to protect the people of Carinthia. They are the most effective mechanism for preserving our homes and infrastructure in case of emergency."


- Water Commissioner State Councilor Daniel Fellner

Villach Mayor Günther Albel added, "Recent natural disasters should serve as warning enough. Cities and municipalities must prepare for such events in close coordination. The city of Villach began planning years ago. Now, the construction for tomorrow's safety has commenced."

Construction CommissionerCity Councilor Harald Sobe remarked, "It is our duty to protect the residents of Villach, their property, the city, and businesses as effectively as possible from flood events or a 100-year flood. It is therefore time to adapt flood protection to current conditions."

Verbund Board Member Achim Kaspar participated in the ground-breaking ceremony on behalf of the power plant operator. "For decades, the city of Villach and Verbund have been ensuring reliable flood protection for the city of Drau in close partnership. With the construction of the Rosegg and Villach power plants, including the redesign of the riverbank areas in the 1980s, an efficient flood protection system was established. However, the numerous natural disasters of recent times show that there are increasingly more extreme weather events in Carinthia, which were not foreseeable in the forecast and calculation models 40 years ago."

Therefore, VERBUND and the city of Villach have decided to make flood protection in Villach fit for the future for the next decades. The federal government and the state support the project organizationally and financially. The planned protective structures mainly consist of dams and reinforced concrete walls to be erected along the Drau, Gail, and Seebach rivers, in combination with ecological improvements through river widening.

In areas where protective measures are required according to the current hazard zone plan, after the implementation of the construction measures, up to 2,000 people directly and indirectly, as well as 157 buildings, will be protected from a 100-year flood.


  • At the tpv Technology Park Villach, an 800-meter-long dam will be built, as well as an ecological compensation measure with bank flattening to give more space to the Drau River and islands.
  • At the location of the Papyrus company and the University of Applied Sciences, an existing wall and part of a cycle path will be raised. Preparations will also be made for mobile flood protection.
  • Dams will be built at Seebach. An ecological compensation will be created with the renaturation of a wetland area. In addition, controlled protection panels (height-adjustable gates) will be installed. This will allow the water level of Lake Magdalenensee to be regulated even when the water from the Drau River backs up into Seebach. Furthermore, there will be a fish-passable connection from Seebach to Lake Magdalenensee.
  • Protection measures will be implemented at Silbersee, where the terrain will be raised by 70 centimeters over a length of 85 meters.
  • In Duel, two agricultural enterprises will be protected with walls.
  • In St. Ulrich, a protective wall and embankment are planned.
  • In the Gailspitz-Straße (GAV) area, the area where a dog school was last located will be raised.
  • In the Prossowitscher Au area on the Gail River, extensive ecological compensation measures will be implemented over a length of one kilometer, and a road along the Gail River will be removed.

By establishing natural riparian vegetation, a new shoreline structure, shallow water zones for optimal plant development, and creating about ten islands in the Drau and Gail rivers, the biotope areas used in the context of the flood protection project will be compensated. These ecological measures, covering a total area of ​​around five hectares, also represent a valuable improvement of the habitat for water-related organisms.