The Czech Republic is situated at the roof of Europe and its waters are drained through rivers into three different seas. The majority of the territory is drained by the Elbe and Oder to the North and Baltic Seas. The Morava River drains almost 28 % of the country to the Danube. Nearly 2.8 million inhabitants – around 3.46 % of the population in the Danube River Basin – live in this area.
Landscape, Climate and Water Flow
The Czech Republic is a largely highland country formed in the northwest by the Bohemian Massif, in the east by a bend of the Beskyds and Carpathian Mountains and in the south by plateaus and the Pannonian Plain. Approximately 7 % of the Morava River Basin is formed by mountains, 35 % by highlands, 51 % by plains, plateaus and valleys, and lowlands cover 7 % of the area. The average annual precipitation in the Czech part of the Morava River Basin is 635 mm, while in the mountainous areas it is higher – up to 1,200 mm per year. The climate of the Morava River Basin is continental, with the lowest temperatures occurring in January and the highest in July.
The most important protected area in the Czech part of the basin is the bilateral Podyji-Thayatal National Park. It represents an exceptionally well-preserved pattern of river valley countryside in the upland part of Europe. Together with the Austrian stretch of the park, they form a unique bilateral area of European importance. Although it is the smallest national park in the Czech Republic, the Dyje canyon creates a unique river phenomenon with deep meanders and high diversity of animal and plant species, including 18 kinds of orchids.
The country comprises of about 60% agricultural land, followed by 32 % forested land and around 1.5 % urbanised areas. The Morava River Basin in the Czech Republic has a high population density, 137 inhabitants per square kilometre. The largest cities in the area are the industrial and trade fair town of Brno (390,000 inhabitants) and the historic town of Olomouc (160,000 inhabitants). Both cities roughly situated in the central part of the basin on the confluence of rivers.
Due to the highly developed industry and agriculture sector in the Czech part of the Morava River Basin, rivers in the region serve as recipients of both urban and industrial wastewater effluents. They also transport diffuse pollution loads, containing organic matters and nutrients originating chiefly in agriculture. Combined with low river flows, this posits higher requirements on the quality of discharged wastewater, and the whole basin has been declared as a sensitive area.
In the Czech part of the Danube River Basin there are about 1,800 municipalities and approximately 79 % of inhabitants are connected to wastewater treatment plants. Agriculture is the biggest source of nutrients and contributes more than 65 % of the total load of nitrogen emissions into surface waters. Moreover, agriculture contributes 30 % of the total rate for phosphorus. Several important measures have been implemented to improve the situation such as: rehabilitating watercourses, increasing protection of existing waters and wetlands and ending unfavourable agricultural practices.
For more detailed information and statistics on the above, please download the 'Facts & Figures' fact sheet below.