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8th Conference of the International Sports Engineering Association
July 12th to 16th 2010 - Vienna, Austria
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Vienna's Water

(07.04.09) When asking Viennese abroad what they miss most, you often get one answer: Vienna's water. So why is that?
Vienna's water – well you might first think of the river Danube flowing right through the city. But in this case, the water that is meant comes out of the tap. So why is that?
Usually water from the tap is drinkable throughout middle-europe, but those who live in Vienna believe that water in Vienna tastes far better than anywhere else. Close your eyes, take a sip and what you taste might remind you of the taste of a cold mountain spring on a hot summer day. Because most of Vienna's water comes right from the mountains of the border-region between lower austria and styria your taste might be right.
What might seem like decadent luxury – mountain spring-water in the city – has its origins in bare necessities.
From Romans to the 19th Century
Already the Romans conducted fresh water from the sorroundings into the city of Vindobona but medieval times resulted in a setback concerning Vienna's water supply. Until the 16 th century water was taken out of wells in
houses or on public places. First approaches for a system of water conduit were done in the second half of the 16th century when the emporer's castle was equipped with a fresh-water supply from the outskirts of the – in these days – relatively small city.
But Vienna's population grew over the years and soon the wells alone couldn't supply enough drinking water for the inhabitants. In the 18th century Wassermann and Wasserweib (waterman and waterwife) offering drinking water to buy from a barrel were typical. Moreover many of the approx. 10.000 wells were polluted and thus reason for epidemics.
The situation became worse in the 1850s when Vienna grew and some of the small villages sorrounding Vienna were suburbanised and population rose again. So the construction of the I. Wiener Hochquellenleitung was started.
I. Wiener Hochquellenleitung (1873)
In 1873 the I. Wiener Hochquellenleitung was – after only three years building-time – opened by Emporer Franz Joseph I. In 1888 the 90km long supply line already provided fresh water for 90 percent of the population.
Nowadays the I. Wiener Hochquellenleitung still supplies around 40 percent of the water for Vienna.

II. Wiener Hochquellenleitung (1910)
In 1900 the need for more water was evident and the foundation stone for the II. Wiener Hochquellenleitung was layed. 10.000 workers built the 180km long conduct from the Hochschwab to Vienna. More than 100 aqueducts and several tunnels had to be built to over- and undercross rivers and mountains respectively. After ten years the II. Wiener Hochquellenleitung was opened.
The best water in the world
Until today these two conducts supply fresh mountain water for Vienna. The water is permanently controlled and is a never missing drink in Vienna's households. It is drunk in kindergarten and at school and when ordering a

coffee in a Kaffehaus you can be sure a small glas of water from the tap will be accompanying it.

Don't miss this impressing video:
Windows Media Format (2,29 MB)
Real Player Format (2,28 MB)
Director and Producer: Georg Riha, Speaker: Paula Roell, Camera: Georg Riha, Music: Peter Laizar, Cut: Robert Herbst, Animation: Rosie Bauer, Alexander Jana, Robert Zival

More infos on Vienna's water: (MA 31)

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