Sulm (Mur)

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The Sulm near Prarath in the municipality of Gleinstätten, looking upstream

The Sulm near Prarath in the municipality of Gleinstätten , looking upstream

Water code AT : HZB: 2-220-234-343, STM: 4096
location Styria , Austria
Drain over Mur  → Drava  → Danube  → Black Sea
River basin district Mur
origin Confluence of the Schwarzer and Weißer Sulm near Gasselsdorf
46 ° 44 ′ 6 ″  N , 15 ° 20 ′ 13 ″  E
Source height 304  m above sea level A.
muzzle at Retznei coordinates: 46 ° 44 ′ 36 ″  N , 15 ° 34 ′ 17 ″  E 46 ° 44 ′ 36 ″  N , 15 ° 34 ′ 17 ″  E
Mouth height 261  m above sea level A.
Height difference 43 m
Bottom slope 1.5 ‰
length 29.1 km
Catchment area 1,120.98 km²
Discharge at the Leibnitz gauge MQ
16.3 m³ / s
Left tributaries Lassnitz
Right tributaries Saggau
Reservoirs flowed through Sulmsee
Small towns Leibnitz
Communities Gleinstätten , Großklein , Kitzeck im Sausal , Heimschuh , Leibnitz

The Sulm is a 29 km long right tributary of the Mur in Styria . Together with the source river Schwarze Sulm , it reaches a length of 64 km.


The source rivers Schwarze Sulm and Weisse Sulm unite in Gasselsdorf (304 m). The community of Gleinstätten (308 m) is roughly in the middle of the river . At Großklein (321 m) the Saggau ( Saggautal ) and at Leibnitz (274 m) the Laßnitz flows into the Sulm.

At Leibnitz the Sulm has an average flow rate of 16.3 m³ / s. The small Sulmsee lies between Kreuzkogel (496 m) and Seggauberg (up to 381 m), and the Sulm flows into the Mur at Retznei (261 m). Between Sulm and Laßnitz is the Sausal hill country , which is known for its viticulture .

Traffic routes along the Sulm

Most of the time, the Sulmtal cycle path leads directly along the Sulm from Leibnitz to Gleinstätten. In some parts this cycle path is on the route of the abandoned Sulmtalbahn . This railway line was put into operation in 1907 and ran from Leibnitz to Pölfing-Brunn . In 1967 it had to be taken out of service for economic reasons. There are still some steel railway bridges left from this time , a small section of the route near Gleinstätten that is still in use, and a few station buildings.

Origin of name

The name Sulm is referred to as Sulpa in 860 , previously as Solva in antiquity . It is based on a Celtic name with the root * su̯el- / sul- for 'to swell'. Changes in the consonants from v to b and ou are published as frequently in Bavarian. Earlier derivations from Illyrian are currently no longer recognized as correct.

The name of the Saggau tributary is derived from idg. Sek- / sol- 'run down, sink, dry up', in combination (second syllable) with aha 'water, river'.

Protected area

The area of ​​the two source rivers of the Sulm is the European protected area no. 3 "Black and White Sulm". Its protected assets are, as natural habitats and plant species, grove beech forest, silicate rocks with crevice vegetation, nitrophile tall herbaceous vegetation, gull brown earth beech forest, woodruff beech forest, transitional and swinging turf bogs, as priority habitats, alder ash willow meadows, ravines and mixed turf forests, silicate grass soils rich in species.

Controversial hydropower plant in the protected area

Plans to build a hydropower plant in the protected area were temporarily stopped in autumn 2009 by a decision by the Minister of the Environment relating to water law , after the Styrian state government had already issued a positive nature conservation decision, which was also approved by the competent highest court, the administrative court , had been confirmed.

With two decisions of March 16, 2012, however, the Constitutional Court (VfGH) overturned the Environment Minister's decision based on water law , because the decision was made on the basis of an unconstitutional law, which the governor in the procedure for the approval of a power plant both as the competent water law authority and water management planning body granted rights. As a result, the authority responsible in the lower instance was on the one hand (as the authority) obliged to be neutral, on the other hand (as the planning body) it would have had to perceive the positions of a single party. This dual position was declared unconstitutional, both the underlying legal provisions and the decision based on them were repealed. The operators of the power plant project rated this as a decision in their favor, although the VfGH did not have to deal with the content of the case.

The final result of the proceedings will be based on the new legal situation created by the Constitutional Court. Its content is open. In response to a parliamentary questionnaire, the competent Austrian Federal Minister spoke out in favor of a construction freeze until a quick, legally compliant solution could be found.

On October 15, 2013, the last day before the deadline for appeal, it became known that Environment Minister Berlakovich (ÖVP) had lodged an official complaint against the Styrian approval decision. Provincial government contributes to the construction of the power plant on the Schwarzen Sulm. According to Section Head Jäger, the complaint against the amendment notice issued by the state regarding the water quality (downgrading from “very good” to “good”) is not directed against the building permit for the power plant.

The Sulmsee

At the beginning of May 2016, the ECJ dismissed the EU Commission's action against the power plant project and, from a legal point of view, gave the green light for construction. The years of proceedings on the topic gave rise to a number of specialist legal publications in which the relationship between the EU's Water Framework Directive and Austrian water law was examined.

Web links

Commons : Sulm (Austrian river)  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Excerpt from the digital Styrian body of water index. State of Styria , accessed on July 6, 2018 .
  2. BMLFUW (ed.) : List of areas of the Austrian river basins: Mur area. In: Contributions to Austria's Hydrography Issue No. 60, Vienna 2011, p. 105. PDF download , accessed on July 6, 2018.
  3. Extract from the digital Styrian body of water index. State of Styria , accessed on July 6, 2018 .
  4. ^ Fritz Freiherr Lochner von Hüttenbach: Early name layers in the Eastern Alps. In: Ernst Eichler (Hrsg.): Problems of the older name layers. Leipzig Symposium November 21-22, 1989. In: Rolf Bergmann , Ulrich Obst, Rudolf Schützeichel , Jürgen Untermann (eds.): Contributions to name research , new series. Supplement 32. Carl Winter Universitätsverlag. Heidelberg 1991. pp. 155-156.
  5. ^ Hermann Baltl, Fritz Lochner von Hüttenbach: Styria in the early Middle Ages. Early medieval names in Styria. Verlag Leykam, Graz 2004. ISBN 978-3-7011-7485-0 . P. 146.
  6. ^ Baltl, Lochner von Hüttenbach: Early Middle Ages. Pp. 149-150.
  7. ^ Baltl, Lochner von Hüttenbach: Early Middle Ages. P. 148.
  8. According to Directive 92/43 / EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and wild animals and plants, ABl. No. L 206 of July 22, 1992, page 7, last amended by Regulation (EC) No. 1882/2003 of September 29, 2003, ABl. No. L 284 of October 31, 2003, Fauna Flora Habitat Directive (FFH RL) .
  9. Ordinance of the Styrian state government of December 4, 2006 on the declaration of the area “Black and White Sulm” (AT2242000) as European protected area No. 3. Styrian State Law Gazette No. 10/2007.
  10. Decision of the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management of November 30, 2009.
  11. Weekly newspaper “Weststeirische Rundschau” from December 12, 2009. Volume 82, No. 50. Page 1.
  12. Administrative High Court December 15, 2008, 2006/10/0179 (accessible via the legal information system RIS , part of the judicature )
  13. The texts in question are no longer applicable in Section 55 Paragraph 1 lit. g, certain word sequences in Section 55 Paragraph 4 and Section 102 Paragraph 1 lit. h of the Water Rights Act 1959: Decision of the VfGH in the procedure G 126/11, see RIS. Announcement in the Federal Law Gazette No. 24/2012 of April 12, 2012.
  14. Decision of the VfGH in proceedings B 51/10, see RIS.
  15. Schwarze Sulm hydropower plant - clear the way for implementation. Weekly newspaper Weststeirische Rundschau . Volume 85, No. 15, p. 1.
  16. point III. 2. the decision of the VfGH B 51/10.
  17. Query response of September 10, 2013 by the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management Dipl.-Ing. Nikolaus Berlakovich on the written question (15572 / J) regarding Schwarze Sulm.
  18. Schwarze Sulm: Official complaint by Minister from October 15, 2013.
  19. ECJ gives the green light for Sulmkraftwerk,, May 4, 2016, accessed May 4, 2016.
  20. Nikolaus Wieser: Schwarze Sulm: Source for system questions in water law. In: ZfV Administration Journal . Year 2017, issue 2. ISSN  1017-3463 ZDB -ID 2546075-4 . Pp. 176-189.