There is not enough water in Lake Neusiedl. What can be seen with the naked eye is evident from the curves on the Burgenland water gate: the lowest level since the start of recording. And there is an invisible drought: the water level is too low.
The consequences of the climate crisis can be seen in this lake, the only steppe lake in Central Europe: it is patient zero in Austria. Scientists, farmers, viticulturalists and tourism professionals face an entirely new situation. Yes, the lake had already dried up and returned. But circumstances are different now. Because none of the proven models can be used. In the book reference “The end of Lake Neusiedl? A region in climate crisis”, experts try to explain the complex interrelationships. The result is a comprehensive picture: from meteorology to water management, and from biodiversity to agriculture.
As stated in the introduction, it is not a feel-good book. Anyone who reads that fisheries are endangered, and that there is no alternative to adapting agriculture, sees how dire the situation is. It’s frustrating, but painful. It is best to break up or organize the reading by area of interest.
There are no scholarly texts only in the volume. The people who live on and from the lake have their opinions on the subjects. They describe how they see the future, and what they are doing to obtain it. And they give way to their hopes, like the winegrower and sailor Peter Chandel: “I hope that nature will take me back to my beloved lake as I knew it 80 years ago.” Katharina Salzer
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