In the Marchfeld - a region of about 1000 km2 in eastern Austria - groundwater is used intensively for irrigation as well as for industrial and potable purposes which has led to a considerable decline of the groundwater table. As a countermeasure the Marchfeldkanal Project was started in 1984 in order to secure the important groundwater reservoir in this dry area. The Marchfeldkanal system was designed as a multi-purpose project, with the aim of providing external water to the region. Beside replenishing the groundwater by artificial recharge now surface water is available for irrigation. Further effects are the improvement of surface water quality and a new protection against floods. It was set store to a very natural design of all parts of the system, in particular of the watercourses. So the Marchfeldkanal System has become an appreciated recreation area. Presently, the system has been completed and three groundwater recharge facilities are operational after periods of testing operation. The next step will be the selective infiltration of surface water, which is withdrawn again by a drinking water abstraction of a local town.

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