Case Study: Kläffer Spring—the major spring of the Vienna water supply (Austria)


Link to Full Text

Download Full Text

Publication Date

September 2009


For the country of Austria, water from karstic catchment areas is a very important drinking water resource. About 22 percent of the nation's surface consists of karstic rocks. Most of the large cities like Vienna, Salzburg, Graz, Linz, and Innsbruck are significantly supplied by karst waters. In total, about 4 million inhabitants or about 50 percent of the population is served from areas with karstic carbonate rocks. This chapter presents the biggest spring of the eastern Alps, the so-called Kläffer Spring, or Kläfferquelle in German. It is also the most important spring that supplies the city of Vienna, where a water supply from developed karst springs dates back to the 19th century, when the venturesome plans of the geologist Eduard Suess to construct a 120 km long pipeline were accepted by the city council. This chapter focuses on the geological and morphological settings of the catchment areaand the complex arrangement of the Kläffer Spring itself, which actually consists of several outlets. Further, quantitative and qualitative hydrological parameters are given and interpreted and measurement techniques are explained and the historic development of the Viennese Water Main and actual data on the consumption and distribution are presented.


Austria, Kläffer Spring, Karstic Rocks, Hydrological Parameters, Karstic Carbonate Rocks, Karstic Waters

Document Type