Period IV

The Rhine Waterfall near Schaffhausen. Photo: TES.

International Rhine Regulation and Rhesi in Widnau

The Rhine from the confluence of the Anterior Rhine (Vorderrhein) and Posterior Rhine (Hinterrhein) rivers near Reichenau in Tamins  (Grisons) to its confluence with Lake Constance is known as the Alpine Rhine or the longest torrent in Europe. As a result of the ever-increasing settlement of the Rhine valley, better flood protection was demanded in the 19th century and the call for a correction of the Rhine stretch was loud. The most devastating flood catastrophe occurred in 1817. Other devastating floods are those of 1888, 1927, 1954 and 1987 and, of course, the Magadalena flood of 1342.

The International Treaty of 1892 between Austria and Switzerland established the International Regulation of the Rhine (IRR). In 2017, the IRR celebrated its 125th anniversary. This treaty was the beginning of closer cooperation between the two countries. In the Rhy-Schopf of the Werkhof Widnau there is an exhibition about the beginnings and the future of flood protection on the Alpine Rhine and the flood protection project Rhesi. Rhesi stands for Rhine – Recreation and Safety (Rhein – Erholung Sicherheit) in the lower Rhine valley. The authorities want to prepare the course of the Rhine and its dams for a so-called 300-year flood. With the completion of the planning phase of the project, the exhibition presents the current status of the work in all specialist areas as well as the accompanying planning and various subject areas. (Source and further information: www.rhesi.ch).