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Water corridor Danube-Oder-Elbe
Czech waterways

The Danube-Oder water corridor (German: Donau-Oder-Kanal; Polish: Kanał Odra-Dunaj) is a planned and partially-constructed artificial waterway that is supposed to stretch along the Morava River to the Oder at the city of Kędzierzyn-Koźle in Poland.

Overview

The Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV had envisioned a waterway capable of taking ships from the Oder to the Danube in the 14th century. Records of further plans of such a waterway stem from the 19th century. During the Nazi era, the idea was reborn and the project was put into motion. The project would connect the Oder to the Danube through the Moravian region of the Czech Republic, stretching 320 kilometers and spanning an elevation of 124 meters.

On December 8, 1939 Rudolf Hess inaugurated the then-named Adolf Hitler Canal, today Gliwice Canal (Polish: Kanał Gliwicki) from Kędzierzyn-Koźle at the Oder River to the city of Gliwice, that replaced the historic Kłodnica Canal finished in 1812. At the same time, Hess also performed the groundbreaking ceremony for the further Donau-Oder-Kanal. The work on the Upper Silesian side already discontinued in 1940. Only a few kilometres of the planned 40-km long channel from Vienna to Angern at the Morava River were actually dug in the years up to 1943, mainly in the areas around the Lobau floodplain in the Donaustadt district of Vienna and the adjacent town of Groß-Enzersdorf. The branch-off at the Danube, just under 100 meters long, is still clearly recognizable today, connecting the Ölhafen Lobau of the OMV oil company. Two further sections are today used for swimming and fishing.

Between 1964 and 1970, a part of the original plans gained attention from Poland again and an offshoot of the Gliwice Canal was constructed. The short, finished arm east of Kędzierzyn-Koźle is known as Kanal Kędzierzynski and serves to connect the nitrogen factory Azoty Kędzierzyn AG to the Oder.

Current situation of D-O-E project

Danube-Oder-Elbe (D-O-E) water corridor is not only missing link of interconnected network of European waterways (according to the AGN agreement and the TEN-T). It is a multi-functional water supply works of major importance for the Czech Republic and Europe.

Water corridor D-O-E uses the extraordinary advantages of the Czech Republic territory, where is the lowest point of the European watershed between the Danube and the Oder rivers (the Moravian Gate). It is the same "family silver", as the narrowest place of the American mainland (Panama), or the Suez Canal in Africa.

Multipurpose water corridor Danube-Oder-Elbe offers many advantages and opportunities. It combines advantages such as providing water balance and stability of the territory - offsetting potential impacts of global climate change, flood protection, water management regimes for overcome long-term drought, environmental protection - restoration of wet habitat, increase biodiversity, use of renewable energy, increase stability of energy system, green transport, the diversification of supply of strategic materials and thus increase energy and transport security.

During last year has been a positive development about this project. Czech Republic discussed possible implementation of the missing European connection with neighbor states, Poland and Slovakia have decided to join Czech Republic to prepare a feasibility study. Germany and Austria will officially don't join the study, but offered their evidence and experts, in order to contribute to good results of the study. In April 2010 was restored Czech-Polish working group "DOE" (Danube, Oder-Elbe), which will prepare this project.

More at: Danube-Oder-Elbe water corridor website


Existing waterways are blue, planned waterways are orange. Danube-Oder waterway goes from Austria do Poland, branch turning at Přerov to river Elbe. In the western part of the Czech Republic is located Elbe-Vltava waterway


UN/ECE map of european waterway network of AGN agreement


The place of grounbreaking ceremony for the Oder-Danube Canal on December 8, 1939 near Nowa Wieś close to Kędzierzyn.
From south to north is Gliwice canal with a wide mouth of a 6-km stretch of Oder-Danube Canal on left - a branch canal for the chemical factory in Kędzierzyn.



Built sections of the Danube-Oder waterway near Vienna are used for recreation.


Partly built Danube-Oder waterway at port Lobau in Vienna.



Morava River flows into the Danube below the Devin Castle. The most likely beginning point of the water corridor Danube-Oder-Elbe


A flood diversion canal of the Oder river around Racibórz. It was built in parameters for navigation.



Bata canal on Moravia in the 30th of 20th century. It is used today for recreational sailing. More at: Bata canal


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In the Czech Republic are in preparation or implementation other interesting waterway projects.

Extending of Vltava waterway to České Budějovice is in implementation, this project contain construction of 4 new locks and 2 ship lifts and will connect upper Vltava waterway to European waterway network through river Elbe.


Visualization of navigation lock České Vrbné downstream of České Budějovice. Lock is in construction. Planned opening is 1st May 2011.


Visualization of port at České Vrbné. Port is in construction. Planned opening is 1st May 2011.


Visualization of navigation lock Hluboká nad Vltavou downstream of České Vrbné. Lock is in construction. Planned opening is in 2012.


River Elbe

New navigation lock Děčín on river Elbe will improve navigation condition.


New navigation lock Přelouč with lateral navigation canal will extending navigable Elbe waterway of 33 km to Pardubice city.
 
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