Meadow (river)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The meadow near Lörrach

The meadow near Lörrach

Water code DE : 232, CH : 541
location Black Forest

Southern Upper Rhine Lowland



River system Rhine
Drain over Rhine  → North Sea
source in the Black Forest between the Feldberg and the Grafenmatt
47 ° 51 ′ 24 ″  N , 8 ° 1 ′ 31 ″  E
Source height approx.  1218  m above sea level NN
muzzle between the Basel quarters of Klybeck and Kleinhüningen in the Upper Rhine Coordinates: 47 ° 34 ′ 58 ″  N , 7 ° 35 ′ 13 ″  E ; CH1903:  611158  /  270242 47 ° 34 '58 "  N , 7 ° 35' 13"  O
Mouth height about  244  m above sea level NN
Height difference approx. 974 m
Bottom slope approx. 17 ‰
length 57.8 km
Catchment area 453 km²
Discharge at the Basel
A Eo gauge : 453 km²
Location: 1 km above the mouth
NNQ (multiple, through seepage)
MQ 1933–2008
Mq 1933–2008
HHQ (1944)
0 l / s
11.4 m³ / s
25.2 l / (s km²)
343 m³ / s
Left tributaries Prägbach, Angenbach, others see # tributaries
Right tributaries Schönenbach, Wiedenbach, Kleine Wiese, Steinenbach, others see # tributaries

The meadow is a 57.8 km long, right tributary of the Rhine in the southwest of Germany and in the northwest of Switzerland .

From its source located in Baden-Württemberg in the southern Black Forest on the Feldberg , it first flows a short distance in the Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald district and then mostly in the Lörrach district , including through the district town of Lörrach . After it has crossed the state border, its lower reaches runs through the canton of Basel-Stadt , mainly through the city of Basel and finally through its district of Kleinbasel , where it flows into the Upper Rhine .

The valley of the meadow draining a catchment area of 453 km² is called Wiesental ; it is oriented roughly to the southwest. The largest tributary is the Kleine Wiese, approaching from the north . The meadow on the right bank of the Rhine, along with the Birsig tributaries on the left bank of the Rhine , which flows into the Basler Schifflände , and the Mühlebach , which flows under the Basler Dreirosenbrücke , is one of the three larger Upper Rhine tributaries on Swiss territory.


Etymologically , the river name Wiese ( Alemannic pronunciation [ˈʋiːz̥ə] ) has nothing to do with the German word Wiese . According to the vasconic hypothesis , which is largely rejected by experts, it could go back to a word root for water or body of water, is- .



Meadow spring

The meadow rises in the Black Forest in the Southern Black Forest Nature Park . Its source , the meadow spring , is located in the Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald district immediately west of the Hebelhof residential area in the Feldberg municipality between the Feldberg ( 1,493  m above sea  level ), the highest mountain in the low mountain range, in the northwest and the Grafenmatt ( 1,377.6  m ) in the south-southwest at about 1218  m altitude; A few meters north past the source in the Feldberg-Ort-Hebelhof- Todtnau section leads the federal road 317 .

The meadow changes to the Lörrach district just below the meadow spring. In the Black Forest it initially flows in a south-westerly direction along the B 317 through the Wiesental . Coming from the Feldberg it flows, wedged in by the steep mountain slopes of the Black Forest, still as a mountain stream past the hamlets of Fahl and Brandenberg and through the center of Todtnau . From there it moves to and through Schlechtnau, past Geschwend, through the towns of Utzenfeld , Schönau in the Black Forest , Wembach , Fröhnd and through Mambach, Atzenbach and Zell in Wiesental .

The glacier-shaped upper valley of the meadow from Seebuck to the southwest
The meadow flows into the Rhine between the two Basel quarters of Kleinhüningen and Klybeck

Between Zell and Hausen , the narrow Black Forest valley of the meadow opens into a wide plain, in which the meadow first flows past Fahrnau and then reaches Schopfheim . There it swings to the west and separates the Black Forest from the Dinkelberg to the south .

After flowing through the core town of Schopfheim, it runs past or through the villages of Gündenhausen, Maulburg , Höllstein , Steinen and the Lörrach districts of Hauingen , Brombach , Haagen , after which it crosses the federal autobahn 98 , Tumringen , Lörrach itself and Stetten , after which the B 317 turns turns away from her.

Behind the Stettener Wiesebrücke on the Weil am Rhein – Lörrach railway line , the meadow leaves German territory. Your last 6 km run will be on Swiss soil, initially in the municipality of Riehen . The area of ​​the German community of Weil am Rhein, which borders on Riehen to the northwest, does not quite extend to the meadow; however, it is traversed by a short section of the mill pond, a side branch of the river. In Kleinbasel , which follows Riehen , the river crosses under other railway lines the Karlsruhe – Basel railway line and shortly afterwards at the junction of the Swiss motorway 2 from the Swiss motorway 3 among other things the A 2, which merges a little further north into the German federal motorway 5 .

Finally , the meadow flows between the Kleinbasel quarters Klybeck in the south and Kleinhüningen in the north at 244  m above sea level. NN in the Upper Rhine , the further south the Basel Rhine knee from the High Rhine in question; Immediately north-northeast of the meadow estuary is the Basler Rheinhafen and west of the estuary, across the Rhine, is the French community of Huningue .


The largest tributary of the meadow is the Kleine Wiese , named after the community of Kleines Wiesental , which is fed by the two source rivers Belchenwiese (source on the southern slope of the Belchen ) and Köhlgartenwiese ( source outlet southwest of the Belchen on the southern slope of the Köhlgarten ), which unite in Tegernau . From there the Kleine Wiese flows south and flows into the Große Wiese west of Schopfheim .

The following notable tributaries flow into the meadow and its largest tributaries (each with tributary side, DGKZ , length and catchment area :):

  • Upper course close to the source to Todtnau 22.534 km²
  • (r) Schönenbach (232-12; 8.487 km, 20.134 km²)
  • + 5.332 km²
  • (l) Prägbach (232-2; 14.654 km, 30.795 km²)
  • + 2.839 km²
  • (r) Wiedenbach (232-32; 7.729 km, 19.869 km²)
  • (r) Aiternbach (232-332; 7.324 km)
  • + 23.507 km², including the Aiternbach
  • (r) Böllenbach (232-34; 7.089 km; 13.204 km²)
  • + 3.384 km²
  • (l) Künabach (232-394; 6.215 km, 10.338 km²)
  • + 11.943 km²
  • (l) Angenbach (232-4; ​​8.622 km, 22.018 km²)
  • + 35.813 km², a total of 221.7 km²
  • (r) Kleine Wiese (232-6; 22.298 km, 91.383 km²)
    • Upper course of the Köhlgartenwiese near the source, 5.014 km²
    • (r) Klemmbach (232-6-12; 4.953 km, 7.088 km²)
    • + 16.469 km²
    • (r) Riederbächle (232-6-16; 4.621 km; 6.962 km²)
    • + 4.303 km², up to here a total of 39.836 km²
    • (r) Köhlgartenwiese (232-6-2; 10.91 km, 29.969 km²)
    • henceforth small meadow ; + 21.578 km², a total of 91.383 km²
  • + 0.007 km²
  • (l) Schlierbach (232-72; 9.728 km, 13.728 km²)
  • + 4.73 km² (right-hand side)
  • (left branch) industrial canal (232-74; 3.873 km, 14.446 km²)
    • (left branch from Schlierbach to Wiese) Floßkanal (232-74-2; 5.544 km)
  • + 7.461 km²
  • (r) Steinenbach (232-8; 13.683 km; 46.277 km²)
    • Upper course 19.095 km²
    • (l) Schwammerich (232-8-2; 7.91 km, 11.765 km²)
    • + 5.828 km²
    • (r) Heilisaubach (232-8-4; 5.928 km, 8.822 km²)
    • + 0.767 km², a total of 46.277 km²
  • + 53.581 km², a total of 453.313 km² with a length of 57.76 km

Catchment area

The meadow's water catchment area and river system

The meadow's water catchment area covers 453 square kilometers and, with its typical elongated shape, has a fairly uniform width. On the upper reaches, the meadow is fed by various streams, including Schönenbach and Wiedenbach on the right and Prägbach and Angenbach on the left. The Kleine Wiese flows out at Maulburg; it is the largest and longest tributary and in turn receives around a third of its water from the Köhlgartenwiese. The last major tributary, the Steinenbach, flows into it at Hauingen.


Since the formation of the Black Forest and its foothills during the geological uplift processes of the Upper Rhine rift valley , the meadow has shaped the landscape in the southern Black Forest and on the Dinkelberg through its constant erosion and sedimentation work . The meadow flows through two scenic and geologically distinguishable sections, which divide the Wiesental into the valley of the Black Forest meadow in the upper reaches between Fahl and Zell and the Untere Wiesental in the lower reaches between Hausen and Kleinhüningen .

In recent geological times, the alternation between warm and cold periods in the Pleistocene has shaped the appearance of the meadow valley. The valley of the Black Forest meadow was formed by the Feldberg glacier . Only in the upper part between Fahl and Todtnau was the glacier powerful enough to dig a trough valley into the crystalline bedrock . However, the glacier tongue reached as far as Wembach. In the upper reaches of Todtnau and Gschwend, the meadow flows in some places through gorge-like depressions with rapids and small waterfalls.

Mouth delta of the meadow with gravel islands in 1749

After the end of the last ice age, the Würme Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago, the lower meadow valley was filled with gravel and debris from the Feldberg glacier and formed the valley floor about 20 to 30 meters above today's level. The melting of the Ice Age glaciers released large amounts of melt water; then the meadow dug up to 15 meters below today's level. After another gravel and formation of today's low terrace around 2500 to 6000 years ago, the meadow created the current valley floor with the meadow meadows by re-digging, in which the river could meander broadly . In the area of ​​the Wiese river delta, the ice age river deposits had such a strong impact on the course of the Rhine that its river bed was pushed around five kilometers to the south-west, where it is now in the characteristically shaped knee of the Rhine. In Kleinbasel, below the Riehenringbrücke, the meadow was again pushed away by an upcoming Nagelfluhbank, which caused the striking 90 ° bend in the lower reaches of the meadow. Until the beginning of the 19th century, the meadow flowed largely unregulated from its source in the Black Forest to its confluence with the Rhine, commuting between the high rises of the lower terrace and looking for its way through the gravel and sand banks of the river meadows. The annual floods caused a change in the course of the river.

Only the Wiesenwuhre , which diverted useful water for agriculture, trade and crafts and later for the Wiesentäler and Kleinbasler industries, stood in the way of the Wiesen river and channeled a not inconsiderable part of the meadow water into the various commercial channels. In the Wiesental, the expression pond or in Alemannic / Baseldytsch Diich / Tych is used as a synonym for commercial canal .


The mean annual precipitation within the catchment area varies between about 2000 mm in the Feldberg area and 882 mm in Lörrach. There is a tendency for the amount of precipitation to decrease from west to east and from north to south. The greatest rainfall mostly falls in the months of November to January, in the Black Forest locations mostly as snow.

Monthly mean water runoff from the meadow near Kleinhüningen 1993–2007
Longitudinal river profile of the meadow

Due to the river relief , the low storage capacity of the soil in the catchment area in the upper reaches of the meadow and the combination of sudden snowmelt during foehn and heavy rainfall, there have been regular heavy floods in the past, which caused great damage to people and land. The strong floods, which increased in the second half of the 19th century, were attributed by contemporaries to the ruthless deforestation of the forests in the small and large Wiesental and the desolate and worthless areas on the Feldberg and Belchen, which apparently no longer store the water to the previous extent could. Over the year, the meadow has the most water around Christmas time and from mid-March to mid-April and least water in August. The mean flow rate in Kleinhüningen is 11.3 m³ / s. The Swiss Federal Office of Environment has within the period from 1933 to 2006 in 1944, the highest discharge rate with 342.5 m³ / s. However, events of this magnitude can only be expected every 200 years.

Exceptional flood

  • On February 20, 1999, after heavy rainfall near Maulburg, the meadow overflowed its banks. At the Maulburger Wuhr, the river broke out of its bed and tore out the bank reinforcement on its right bank to a depth of 30 to 50 meters. The river barriers that had been torn away were only renovated on the left bank. Today the gravel banks and sandy beaches near Maulburg, bathed by meadow water, have become a popular local recreation area.
  • The Christmas flood of December 22, 1991 was the strongest flood in the last 25 years with a discharge of over 170 m³ / s at the measuring point in Basel-Kleinhüningen.
  • The flood of November 27, 1944 led to a peak of 342.5 m³ / s and destroyed, among other things, the Haagen weir.
  • The Christmas flood of December 28, 1882 must have been one of the worst historical floods. Projections showed that the meadow in the Riehener Bann must have carried up to 450 m³ / s of water at the top. This flood caused great damage in Riehen and was the trigger for the consistent implementation of the corrective work in the Langen Erlen. Wuhre, bridges and bank fortifications were also destroyed upstream. When the Tumringer Wiesenbrücke collapsed, more than a dozen onlookers who had been on the bridge were killed.
  • On the night of February 14th to 15th, 1877, the meadow broke through the embankment at the Brombacher Canal, ate the embankment and bypassed the Haagener weir, the left part of which was torn away. Further downstream, the Haagen bridge was torn away. The meadow ate away the entire foreland on the Haagen side until it finally hit the northern gable wall of the Gasthaus zur Wiese and tore it down. For the municipality of Haagen, the Wuhrgenossenschaft , the mat owners and the meadow landlord, the financial damage amounted to hundreds of thousands of marks. What can happen when flowing around a Wuhr can be seen in photos of the Maulburg flood from 1999.

The meadow correction

When the Alemanni began to colonize the Wiesental in the fifth and sixth centuries, they chose the locations carefully. On the lower terraces of the last Ice Age, where they built them, the medieval settlements were largely spared from meadow floods, which at that time could still spread unhindered in the river meadows. But with the growing cultivation of the fertile floodplains, the need of the farmers and landowners grew to protect the precious land from the floods of the meadow and to fortify the banks.

The first indications of bank repair measures can be found in an agreement between the governor of Rötteln and the city council of Basel dated December 18, 1562 on protective structures on the meadow. It affected a section of meadow above the Kleinbasler Teichwuhr. The first graphic recordings of river barriers come from the year 1750. They show the structural measures for the restoration of a section of the meadow between Weil and Kleinhüningen that has been damaged by bank invasions.

In the Baden meadow section, the meadow was divided into many arms and carried a lot of debris . This repeatedly led to flooding of the floodplain. Since agriculture, tradespeople and the newly emerging industrial companies in the Baden part of the lower Wiesental felt the consequences of the floods much more strongly than the Swiss rivers in Riehen and Basel, the first large-scale correction work between Hausen and Stetten was carried out between 1806 and 1823. The river straightening between Lörrach and Hausen was designed and carried out by the Baden hydraulic engineer Tulla .

The current course of the meadow on the Swiss territory was already planned in the early 19th century by the Baader building inspector. The straight stretch between Weiler Wiesenbrücke and Eisernern Steg is interesting. It lies parallel to the visual axis of the Stetten Church and Basel Minster . The original bank reinforcement was a groyne system , but it was replaced by a threshold system in the 1850s after the severe flooding of 1852. A double trapezoidal profile was planned for the river bed, with a summer bed and the flood dams. The banks were still largely fortified by fascines , wattle and daub and grass. Between 1847 and 1878, 13 severe floods were counted, all of which led to damage and destruction of the bank fortifications. Only after the great Christmas flood of 1882 was a uniform fortification system built in the Swiss meadow section.

Correction work on the Schlipf above the hamlet of Wiesenbrücke (1898)

A special feature is the correction carried out in 1898 according to the Schindler system between the state border and the Weilstrasse bridge. According to this system, the river profile forms a continuous, uninterrupted bottom line, which has neither a separate bottom nor a separate bank formation. The advantages of this system should lie in the fact that the bank barriers would be less affected in the event of flooding and the river bed could absorb a larger volume of water. The Schindler system had proven unsatisfactory in the early years, so that between 1905 and 1910 the bank structures originally made of wood had to be replaced with stone paving. However, it is thanks to Schindler's profile that in the course of time a remarkable meadow vegetation was able to develop on the right bank of the meadow between the state border and the Riehen swimming pool. Only recently has this meadow bank, which is worthy of protection, been severely impaired by the construction measures for a duty-free road .

The corrective measures on the meadow have been hindered in the past centuries by various natural conditions and human or official inadequacies. The seasonally occurring floods and the large debris input always had a negative effect on bank reinforcements and the height of the river bed and thus on the absorption capacity of the river bed. The corrective measures carried out in the Baden part of the meadow resulted in an increased flow of the floods into Switzerland and thus a greater burden on the bank protection structures there. For a long time, the unwillingness of individual river banks to take on the costs of necessary maintenance work prevented long-term correction of longer river sections. Only after the formation of the so-called state association in Baden and the takeover of the river stretch in the Riehener Bann by the canton of Basel could long-term protection of the meadow banks be guaranteed. After the meadow was banned into the artificial bed on the entire route between Hausen and Kleinhüningen, it has largely lost its horror. Since then, major floods have remained trapped within the dams. It is only recently that people have been thinking out loud about loosening up the rigid and unnatural meadow banks.

Utility waters and economic factor

Probably since the Alemanni colonized the Wiesental, the meadow was used for agricultural, fishing and commercial purposes and from the 18th century for industrial purposes.


The meadow estuary at Kleinhüningen to see are fishermen at work with landing nets , fish traps and nets in the background Castle Klybeck and Basel

The meadow has been rich in fish since time immemorial. The numerous side arms, the gravelly river bed, the shady floodplain forests and the current conditions offered numerous fish and other aquatic life optimal living conditions. In many chronicles reference is made to the variety and quantity, especially of salmonids . In the early Middle Ages the fishing grounds were still freely accessible to everyone, at the latest since the application of the Franconian royal law, the fish pasture was introduced, with which the general use of the river was prohibited.

In the municipal coat of arms of Haagen, the fish reminds of the privilege of the Hofischer von Rötteln and Haagen to fish the waters of the Bailiwick of Rötteln during the high fish pasture

In the 15th century, the Röttler margraves granted all fishing rights from Hausen to Kleinhüningen (with the exception of Stetten). The meadow estuary near Kleinhüningen was particularly rich in fish . The well knew the Basel and Hüninger Fischer, making it to the meadow mouth frequently violent quarrels came, so the salmon fishing dispute of 1736/37. The fish pasture was very strictly regulated. Closed seasons, minimum sizes, lot boundaries and the water usage rights of the milling and rafting industries had to be taken into account. In the Middle Ages, the meadow meadows, which had to be opened for the salmon to pass through, posed a major problem.

Full-time fishing was given up in the first half of the 20th century. High water pollution, the canalization of the meadow and the construction of insurmountable run-of-river power stations in the Rhine destroyed the habitat and the hiking trails of many river creatures and thus the economic basis of fishing. Today only the old fishing family Bürgin in Kleinhüningen still has the old fishing rights and in Haagen the golden fish in the coat of arms reminds of the former privilege of being able to conduct the Röttler Hochfischweid. Since the water quality allows it again, various regional fishing clubs have been taking care of the fish population and the rearing of young fish (brown trout). As part of joint river cleaning campaigns, they also make a significant contribution to keeping the meadow and the other waters in the Wiesental clean.

Mill ponds, commercial canals and watering waters

In addition to the fishermen, the water-dependent trades lived from the meadow water. However, due to the dynamics of the river and its course, which was still untamed in the Middle Ages, it was relatively difficult to use the water power of the meadow for millers , sawmills or forge trades. With the increasing reclamation of the meadow meadows in the Middle Ages and the growing importance of livestock farming in agriculture, the newly developed meadow meadows and their irrigation became an economic factor. To use the water, it was branched off from the late Middle Ages through weirs , here called Wuhr , and diverted it through artificial channels , here called a pond , to the companies and the water meadows , using the valley lines of old river arms.

The bishops of Basel had a power-political interest in the planned settlement of Kleinbasel in the first half of the 13th century (Kleinbasel was then still part of the Breisgau ), but above all an economic one. After the rivers and commercial canals on the left bank of the Rhine could no longer meet the growing demand for hydropower and industrial water, the construction of the Kleinbasler commercial pond was used to sustainably promote commercial activity in the Kleinbasel area. It split into eight separate ponds around 1280. Later it was called Riehenteich .

The Kleinbasler ponds on a site map from 1899

Until 1900, the Kleinhüninger Mühleteich and the Klybeckteich to the west of the Langen Erlen also supplied the local industry with water.

The ponds on the Lörracher, Stettener and Riehener districts ran in former stream channels from side arms of the meadow, in which small streams ran on the edge of the Hochgestade (lowest river terrace ). The old pond in Riehen is attested to as early as 1262. The old and new ponds were originally smaller river arms of the meadow. The water of the Riehener mill pond was diverted from the meadow at the “Wuhr” near Stetten. Its susceptibility to repairs and conflicts with the Stetteners finally led to the decay of the trench from 1814, especially since there was still a direct connection to the Stettener industrial pond. After longer periods of drought, around 1723 the Riehen ponds were merged with the Kleinbasel ponds.

Management was made more difficult by conflicts over rights of use and maintenance obligations, frequent floods and different responsibilities of the authorities. The weir from Weil in Baden was on the Basle area, the Riehener on the Stetten boundary and thus on the Austrian territory, and Stetten drew the water from the Lörrach industrial pond and thus from the Baden area. Also further up, between Zell and Lörrach, smaller tributaries of the meadow were built into mill ponds in the Middle Ages, from which small channels for watering the meadows were derived. The Haagener Mühleteich or Röttler pond ran between Haagen and Tumringen . Haagen and Rötteln owe the establishment of spinning and weaving mills to the existence of the mill pond.

The former Steinen mill pond has been attested since the 14th century and ran from today's Steinen waterworks through Steinen to shortly before Brombach . In the Middle Ages the pond supplied water energy for the mills and sawmills as well as industrial water for the water mats and for the cattle. The rights of use and obligations were regulated by the articles of association of the Wuhrgenossenschaft. There were renewed conflicts of use after the Basel manufacturer Major Geigy-Lichtenhahn had built a mechanical spinning and weaving mill on the outskirts of the village from 1834 . After the Second World War, interest in the use of meadow water decreased sharply, also because the water mats had to give way to new building areas and many textile companies got into economic difficulties. After 1984 the 400 year old canal was filled in. Today the Mühleweg and the former canal course west of the Steinen hydroelectric power station tell of him.


Timber handling point at the Kleinbasler Riehentor

In addition to driving water mills and irrigation, the meadow has been used since the 14th / 15th centuries. Century used to transport wood from the Black Forest. Again, it was the city of Basel that opened up the wood deposits in the Black Forest through the economic boom in the printing and paper industry. The city of Basel secured annual timber imports through contracts with the margraves. The rafting season was March and April, when the meadow had enough water during the snowmelt. In the 18th century, the strong demand from Basel led to a real wood boom in the Black Forest. A 6-shoe-wide canal was built especially for the rafting industry , on which more than 7,000 fathoms of wood (equivalent to around 14,700 fm) were transported annually to Basel.

The unchecked demand for wood from Basel led to considerable economic imbalances and unsustainable forestry in the Wiesental, which gradually led to various official wood and coal export bans. Only at the end of the 18th century was rafting in the Wiesental discontinued.

Textile industry

The first textile factories were established in the Wiesental in the 18th and 19th centuries. The usable hydropower of the meadow and the existing sewer infrastructure, the proximity to Swiss investors as well as economic policy considerations in the course of Baden's accession to the German Customs Union and state funding commitments favored the location in the Wiesental. Cotton and India factories, silk weaving and spinning mills, and fabric dyeing plants in particular were founded. In the second half of the 19th century, the growing demands of the Wiesentäler industrial companies regarding the controllability of meadow water and the constant threat to factories from flooding led to serious plans in the second half of the 19th century to correct the natural course of the river in the floodplain and to force the meadow into an artificial bed .

The meadow, which comes from the deep rock and the red sand area of ​​the Black Forest, has almost lime-free water, in contrast to the other Rhine tributaries in Basel, which originate in the Jura. Soft water is more suitable for dyeing textiles than hard water, which also encouraged the textile industry to settle in the Wiesental.

Power generation

The meadow's hydropower has been used for centuries. While various mills ( grain mills , oil mills , sawmills ) and rammers , as well as hammer mills were driven in the Middle Ages and early modern times , industrialization brought the textile industry in particular the water rights and installed turbines that supplied electricity for their own spinning and weaving machines. With the relocation of the textile industry to low-wage countries, the long-lasting turbines and generators , as well as the water rights, remained popular assets in the industrial wasteland . The production of electricity was often a good business activity for the property management of the lost textile companies and companies from the energy sector, as the electricity was usually guaranteed to be purchased under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG).

There are 37 small power plants on the meadow and the commercial channels derived from it, and 73 plants in the meadow catchment area.

In German private households, only 2 people live on average. The average power consumption of a two-person household in an apartment building is 2500 kWh / year.

The 11 hydropower plants operated by EnergieDienst AG in the middle of Wiesental (Mambach to Steinen) produce an average of 22.4 million kWh / year and can thus supply around 9,000 households. The data are incomplete for the other operators, but it is assumed that around 15,000 households can be supplied by the small hydropower plants on the meadow.

After two hydropower plants were built in the central Wiesental since 2010, the river's potential for hydropower has largely been exhausted. The focus is now on the ecological upgrading of the small power plants, which has already been reflected in numerous modernization measures (e.g. fish ladders, increasing the amount of residual water, etc.). In addition, a higher electricity production is achieved by modernizing the systems.

The following overview table is mainly based on the Baden-Württemberg Energy Atlas (map "Existing hydraulic structures") and the information from energieDienst AG.

No. local community designation active
+ | - |?
Height of fall
Mean discharge of
the water body (m³ / s)
power (kW)
(Million kWh)
operator image
1 Todtnau AK Todtnau-Brandenberg 1 + 14.5 0.34 95 mother KW Brandenberg Mutter.JPG
2 Todtnau AK Kraftwerk Rotwiese + 0.05 471 Rotwiese Bernauer KG power plant Rotwiese power plant 1.JPG
3 Todtnau AK Todtnau-Brandenberg 3 + 18.2 0.55 40 Knotz KG
4th Todtnau AK Todtnau-Brandenberg 4 + 11.58 0.55 37 jaw
5 Todtnau AK Todtnau-Brandenberg 5 + 22nd 0.57 75 Kunzelmann
6th Todtnau AK Todtnau 1 - 2.9 0.75 0 Keller GmbH
7th Todtnau AK Todtnau 2 + 5.3 0.75 25th Amann KW Todtnau Amann 1.JPG
8th Todtnau AK Todtnau 3 + 6th 0.81 75 Kraftwerke Kaiser KG KW Todtnau Kaiser 1.JPG
9 Todtnau AK Todtnau 4 + 12.1 1.66 120 Bernauer Wasserkraft GbR KW Bernauer 1.JPG
10 Todtnau AK Geschwend Ziegler + 17th 1.79 305 1.5 Ziegler KW Geschwend Ziegler 2.JPG
11 Todtnau AK Geschwend Trötschler + 5.4 1.83 75 Trötschler KW Geschwend Trötschler 3.JPG
12 Utzenfeld AK Utzenfeld + 6.1 3.25 120 Wasserkraft Hödle GmbH Utzenfeld hydropower plant 1.JPG
13 Schönau AK Schönenbuchen + 2.5 4.4 125 0.5 2011-2013 Hydroelectric power station Schönenbuchen 1.JPG
14th Schönau AK Schönau Frank + 2.5 4.58 55 Frank Bürsten GmbH Hydroelectric power station Schönau Frank 1.jpg
15th Schönau AK Schönau-Brand + 8.25 4.84 280 Business park Schönau, Schmidt property management OHG Power plant Schönau Brand 1.JPG
16 Cell AK Mambach + 37 5.48 1152 6.6 1897-1899 EnergieDienst AG Mambach power plant 1.JPG
17th Cell AK Atzenbach + 11.8 7.38 630 2.7 EnergieDienst AG Atzenbach power plant 3.jpg
18th Cell AK Zell Schappe + 5.8 7.55 330 1.4 1894 EnergieDienst AG Zell Schappe power plant 1.JPG
19th Cell AK Zell iW, Fessmann & Hecker + 2.9 7.72 120 Weir Zell 2.JPG
20th Cell AK Zell iW, Kaiser, Lower Plant + 4.4 7.86 220 Kraftwerke Kaiser KG Zell Kaiser power plant.jpg
21st Hausen AK Hausen mine + 5.8 7.99 380 1.6 energiedienst AG Hydroelectric power station Hausen mine 1.jpg
22nd Hausen AK Hausen Menton + 2.3 7.99 75 Hausen Menton hydropower plant.jpg
23 Hausen AK Hausen Krummatt + 3.9 7.99 160 0.9 energiedienst AG Hydroelectric power station Hausen Krummatt 1.JPG
24 Hausen FK Hausen III, Neumatt 1 + 5.9 7.99 470 1.9 2010-2011 Wasserkraftwerk Hausen GbR , shareholders: energiedienst AG (50%), Elmar Reitter Karftwerk Hausen III outlet water snails.JPG
25th Schopfheim FK Fahrnau + 5.5 7.99 400 1.3 2001-2002 EnergieDienst AG Fahrnau power plant 1.JPG
26th Schopfheim AK Schopfheim Vogelbach + 6.1 7.99 50 Wiesental Energie GmbH Schopfheim Vogelbach power plant 2.jpg
27 Schopfheim AK Schopfheim Bifig + 3.25 7.99 160 WKW Wasserkraftwerk Wiesental OHG (Hänßler) Schopfheim Bifig power plant 2.JPG
28 Schopfheim AK Schopfheim Freudenberg + 4.50 7.99 130 WKW Wasserkraftwerk Wiesental OHG (Hänßler) Schopfheim Freudenberg power plant 1.jpg
29 Schopfheim AK Schopfheim Gündenhausen + 5.50 7.99 280 1.4 1910-1911 EnergieDienst AG Gündenhausen power station 2.JPG
30th Maulburg AK Maulburg 1 + about 6 10.55 400 1.3 1997-1998 Wasserkraftwerke Maulburg GmbH AK Maulburg I.jpg
31 Maulburg AK Maulburg 2 + 3.4 190 1 2019 Wasserkraftwerke Maulburg GmbH Maulburg II power plant 1.JPG
32 Stones AK stones + 7.5 10.62 980 3.3 1984 EnergieDienst AG Hydroelectric power station stones 6.JPG
33 Loerrach FK Brombach + 6.5 11.66 800 WKW Wasserkraftwerk Wiesental OHG (Hänßler) Brombach power plant 2.JPG
34 Loerrach AK Haagen plant + 6.3 11.66 360 Südstrom Wasserkraft-Werke GmbH and Co KG (Lüttke) AK LÖ-Haagen 1.JPG
35 Loerrach AK Werk Rötteln + 4th 11.66 300 Südstrom Wasserkraft-Werke GmbH and Co KG (Lüttke) Rötteln hydropower plant.JPG
36 Loerrach FK LÖ-Tumringen Wuhrgenossenschaft Lörrach + 5.6 8.06 670 2.45 2007 Green electricity / public participation FK LÖ-Tum 1.JPG
37 Loerrach AK Vogelbach + 4th 8.06 160 Wiesental Energie GmbH AK LÖ-Vogelbach Maschinenhaus.JPG

Water quality

Until the 1880s, the pollution of the meadow and its tributaries from anthropogenic uses and interventions was relatively low. It was only with the onset of industrialization, growing prosperity and the associated strong increase in population, settlement areas and infrastructure, that the natural balance of the river landscape was disturbed. The destruction of the meadow landscape by the river correction (1882–1898), the intensification of agriculture and the inadequate treatment of industrial and urban sewage led to a further deterioration in the general state of the river. Since the 1970s, a rethinking of municipalities and cities has been noticeable and the protection of the meadow has come to the fore again. With the construction of new sewage treatment plants and the issue of stricter environmental protection regulations, the quality status has since been greatly improved.

Biological goodness

The biological water quality shows, in particular, impairment of rivers by easily biodegradable substances and the resulting deficits in the oxygen balance. The water quality of the meadow has improved significantly in the last few decades. From its mouth to Brombach, the meadow's water is moderately polluted (quality class II) and by expanding the Steinen sewage treatment plant, it was also able to improve on the middle reaches to quality class II. Between Steinen and Zell and Schönau to Todtnau, the water in the meadow is lightly polluted, i.e. quality class I-II. The various tributaries, especially the Kleine Wiese, show little or no pollution. According to LAWA, rivers with quality category II have sections of water with moderate pollution and a good oxygen supply . They have a very large biodiversity and individual density of algae, snails, small crustaceans, insect larvae . Aquatic plant populations can cover larger areas and they are species-rich fish waters .

In the most recent surveys, eleven species of fish were counted in the meadow: eel , minnow , barbel , nose , alet, gudgeon , brook loach and ash , brown trout , stickleback , Mühlkoppe . In addition, more than 60 small animal species were identified.

Several sewage treatment plants ensure the biological purity of the meadow. Due to changes in the water level due to the weather, strong fluctuations in quality can nevertheless occur. The sewage treatment plants cannot sufficiently clarify the sewage water, especially during floods. Low water and high water temperatures can lead to a lack of oxygen, which can have a negative effect on the natural balance of aquatic life.

Chemical goodness

The pollution of the meadow with nutrients such as nitrate and phosphate can generally be regarded as low and harmless. For heavy metals such as lead , cadmium or zinc, however, the sediment samples of the LAWA show high to very high pollution values ​​for the upper reaches of the meadow and significant to increased pollution values ​​for the middle and lower reaches. The heavy metal deposits in the river sediments can be traced back to medieval mining and ore processing in the Black Forest. In the 14th century in the Hinteren Wiesental there were 45 iron and steel works and smelting mills in operation on the territory of the St. Blasien monastery . Most of the mines and ironworks were abandoned in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Water structure quality

The meadow in Lörrach : The unnatural, trapezoidal base ramps and the thresholds are clearly visible.
The meadow near Maulburg : renaturation measures led to a more natural river bed again. The right bank is flooded at higher water levels, which should create special habitats.

The water structure quality is a measure of the ecological quality of the water structure and the dynamic processes indicated by these structures. The natural water structure of the meadow was largely changed and destroyed by a combination of various corrective measures and structural interventions (e.g. in the alignment, bank construction, transverse structures, dam regulation, systems for flood protection and / or use in the floodplain). This is especially true for the lower reaches of the meadow between Zell and Basel. But even on the upper reaches of the meadow between Todtnau and Zell, the water structure is still significantly or significantly changed. The water structure is only moderately affected in three relatively short river sections in the upper reaches of the meadow. Compared to most of the other rivers in the southern Black Forest, the meadow from its source to the mouth was largely changed by river engineering measures.

In recent years, a rethinking of the public perception of the meadow has become noticeable. Various projects on the Swiss and German side have set themselves the goal of upgrading the meadow in its ecological and biological function and in its function as a local recreation area.

Revitalization and nature conservation in the meadow

Since the late 1990s, the canton of Basel-Stadt began to consider and plan the renaturation and revitalization of Basel's rivers. The reason for this was the changed environmental awareness of urban waters and the knowledge that near-natural waters create sustainable added value for flora, fauna and people seeking relaxation.

In this spirit, the Basel-Stadt rivers development concept was drawn up, and various revitalization measures were specified in the catalog of objectives. The primary goals included

  • the resettlement of beavers and salmon on the Rhine, Birs and Wiese,
  • the expansion of hiking corridors to network biotopes ,
  • creating more space for land streams,
  • the near-natural care of the revitalized habitats as well
  • the protection and improvement of surface and underground waters.
Revitalization of the new pond near Riehen

Numerous projects were developed for the meadow level as part of the development concept. This includes, in particular, the revitalization of the meadow, the reindeer pond, the old pond and the Otterbach, taking into account the drinking water supply in the Lange Erlen as well as better networking of the meadow with its backwaters in order to develop new spawning and juvenile habitats.

Current nature conservation projects in the meadow area

  • The first revitalization measures were carried out as early as 1999 on a 600 meter long section between Erlenparksteg and Wiesebrücke, the hard river barriers were removed and replaced by natural stone groynes.
  • The Wiese Landscape Park was created in 2001 for the long-term preservation of the unique meadow landscape and the adjacent cultural landscape . The landscape park is a cross-border project in which, in addition to the cities of Weil am Rhein and Lörrach (since 2007), the municipality of Riehen and the city of Basel, the Tri-national Environmental Center (TRUZ) and other Swiss nature conservation organizations are involved.
  • In order to guarantee a good drinking water quality of the groundwater reservoir in the Lange Erlen, sufficient control of the water quality must be ensured. For this purpose, studies were carried out as part of the development concept in cooperation with the University of Basel, which were intended to research the mechanisms and possible pollution risks from polluted river water in the long alders.
  • The renovation of the new pond has been started since October 2007 in order to meet the requirements of groundwater protection. The measures provide for sealing the bed of the canal so that no germs from polluted meadow water can penetrate the groundwater wells during flooding . In the course of the renovation work, the pond is also to be designed in a natural way and made accessible to fish along its entire stretch.
  • The Wiesionen project has been under development in the city of Lörrach since the beginning of the decade . The project plans to improve the river habitat for nature and people in Lörrach's urban area in several sub-projects. Since the close development in the Lörrach area allows very little leeway for renaturation measures, the existing water structure can only be interfered with to a limited extent. Reduced floodplain dynamics are to be created within the flood dams and obstacles to migration in the river are to be removed. In addition, the river is to be integrated into urban life at selected points through appropriate construction measures.

Duty Free Road

Zollfreistrasse information board at the hamlet of Wiesebrücke

Until January 2006, the right bank of the meadow between the Stetten railway bridge and the hamlet of Wiesebrücke below the Tüllinger Schlipf was lined by a near-natural alluvial forest. In the course of the construction work on the toll free road, parts of this forest were cleared and the habitat of some rare birds and plants was severely impaired. The approval process for the construction of the toll free route had dragged on for several decades and was delayed until the end due to the resistance of regional environmentalists. Although the construction of the controversial road could not be prevented in the end, the initiative to protect the meadow floodplain was successful in that the various groups of the population could be made aware of the protection of the meadow plain and the local authorities have promised extensive ecological compensation measures.

The meadow in literature and painting


Johann Peter Hebel set the meadow a literary monument in his volume of poetry Alemannische Gedichte , published in 1803 . The poem Die Wiese describes in Alemannic hexameters the river Wiese, personified as the daughter of the Feldberg , from its source to its mouth.


The meadow near Hausen, Gustav Wilhelm Friesenegger , first half of the 19th century

The meadow can be found as a motif in landscape painting or due to its mere presence as part of town and castle portraits on various works of art. In the 17th and 18th centuries the river can be found on copper engravings by Matthäus Merian and Emanuel Büchel , the latter in particular documenting its course and the appearance of the landscape on its lower course in numerous drawings in the middle of the 18th century. The famous Swiss landscape painter Samuel Birmann also drew the meadow and the Lower Wiesental as a young man. In the 19th century, numerous landscape pictures were created by painters who are now rather unknown, which faithfully depicted the meadow and the meadow valley.


  • Eduard Golder: The meadow. A river and its history . Basel-Stadt building department, civil engineering office, 1991.
  • Karl Friedrich Tscherter: The former rafting company in the Wiesental. A contribution to the economic history of the Wiesental. Stuttgart 1925

Web links

Commons : Wiese  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Günther Reichelt : Geographical land survey: The natural spatial units on sheet 185 Freiburg i. Br. Federal Institute for Regional Studies, Bad Godesberg 1964. →  Online map (PDF; 3.7 MB)
  2. a b c d Topographic map 1: 25,000
  3. a b Length according to the water network layer ( AWGN ) on: State Institute for the Environment Baden-Württemberg (LUBW) ( information ).
  4. a b c catchment area after the layer aggregated areas 03 (AWGN) on LUBW.
  5. Hydrological Yearbook of Switzerland 2008, p. 211 (The value there for the catchment area of ​​458 m² is implausible and, given the location of the water level very close to the mouth, was taken over from the lower catchment area value of the LUBW.)
  6. Hans Krahe : Theory about the oldest water names, see also Vennemann (1994), Steinbauer (1996).
  7. State Institute for the Environment Baden-Württemberg (LUBW) ( information )
  8. a b According to FOEN hydrological data (PDF; 46 kB), however, 458 km².
  9. Schülin, F. (1965): Chronik von Rötteln / Haagen, p. 290.
  10. Flood forecast center of the state of Baden-Württemberg
  11. Kaufmann, G. (1984): A river is tamed, in: Jahrbuch z'Rieche 1985, p. 117 ff. ( Online )
  12. Schülin, F. (1965): Chronik von Rötteln-Haagen, p. 304 ff.
  13. Schülin, F. (1965): Chronicle of Rötteln-Haagen, p. 123 ff.
  14. Golder, E. (1991): The meadow. A river and its history, p. 138 ff.
  15. Golder, E. (1991): The meadow. A river and its history, p. 121 ff.
  16. Vortisch, CM (1973): Wässerungstreit Im Grütt. In: The Markgräflerland. Volume 1/2, p. 38 ff
  17. Zimmermann, A. (1996): In: Das Markgräflerland. Volume 1/1996, p. 9 ff.
  18. see Tscherter p. 81
  19. Rothmund, P. (1984): In: Unser Lörrach 1984, pp. 137 ff.
  20. see Johann Peter Hebel's poem, already printed in 1803
    Wikisource: Die Wiese  - Sources and full texts
    Row 207 to 217
  21. Homepage of the district of Lörrach Wasserkraft ; accessed on April 23, 2020
  22. Number of private households and average household size in Germany, 1871 to 2016 on the homepage of the Federal Institute for Population Research; accessed on April 23, 2020
  23. Average power consumption on; accessed on April 23, 2020
  24. Homepage of the district of Lörrach Wasserkraft ; accessed on April 23, 2020
  25. Ingo Fleuchaus: Small hydropower - big impact from January 30, 2018; accessed on April 27, 2020
  27. Source:; accessed on September 19, 2019
  28. ^ Regional information system for Baden-Württemberg (LeoBW): Brandenberg - Wohnplatz - Historical Ortlexikon Baden-Württemberg
  29. System profile at
  30. Bernauer Group on; accessed on April 28, 2020
  31. Dirk Sattelberger: “The best regenerative energy.” An interview with the hydropower pioneers Herbert and Bernhard Kaiser from Todtnau on the topic of drought summer and climate change. What do these dry times mean for the future of hydropower? In: Südkurier of July 8, 2019, accessed on May 6, 2020
  32. Bernauer Group on; accessed on April 28, 2020
  33. ^ Regional information system for Baden-Württemberg (LeoBW): Geschwend - Altgemeinde ~ sub-town - historical local dictionary Baden-Württemberg
  34. ^ Struggle for hydropower. In: Badische Zeitung of April 4, 2001; accessed on May 6, 2020
  35. Eaton'S Electrical Sector EMEA customer magazine. SOLUTIONS 23 pp. 20-21; accessed on May 6, 2020
  36. company information; accessed on September 19, 2019
  37. the previous operator Elektrizitätswerk Utzenfeld GmbH was sold in 2001 to the power transmission works Rheinfelden (KWR), but without the power station
  38. Edgar Steinfelder: New power plant in Schönenbuchen. In: Badische Zeitung of September 21, 2012; accessed on May 9, 2020
  39. [1]
  40. ^ Homepage of Frank Bürsten GmbH; accessed on September 19, 2019
  41. Frank Bürsten heats up Schönau, climate neutral! on the homepage of the initiative group Oberes Wiesental; accessed on April 28, 2020
  42. ^ History of the hydropower plant ; accessed on May 9, 2020
  43. 2015 modernized
  44. energiedienst AG
  45. Flyer from energieDienst AG Our hydropower in the Black Forest.
  46. "On May 1, 2014, Energiedienst took over the management of the Atzenbach power plant from the city of Zell im Wiesental as part of a lease for a period of 30 years."
  47. modernized in 2016
  48. Flyer from energiedienst AG Our hydropower in the Black Forest. PDF
  49. (formerly Brennet, Werk 1)
  50. ^ Dirk Sattelberger: The Brennet company surrenders electricity production. In: Badische Zeitung of February 16, 2017; accessed on April 23, 2020
  51. former Menton mill
  52. (formerly Brennet, Werk 2)
  53. ^ Dirk Sattelberger: The Brennet company surrenders electricity production. In: Badische Zeitung of February 16, 2017; accessed on April 23, 2020
  54. Homepage of Reitter Wasserkraftanlagen GmbH & Co. KG, accessed on September 18, 2019
  55. Flyer from energiedienst AG Our hydropower in the Black Forest. PDF
  56. Flyer from energiedienst AG Our hydropower in the Black Forest. PDF
  57. Entry Wiesental Energie GmbH on; accessed on April 27, 2020
  58. Entry WKW Wasserkraftwerk Wiesental OHG on; accessed on April 27, 2020
  59. Entry WKW Wasserkraftwerk Wiesental OHG on; accessed on April 27, 2020
  60. Flyer from energiedienst AG Our hydropower in the Black Forest. PDF
  61. Shareholder: energiedienst AG (50%), setup Schweigert
  62. Shareholder: energiedienst AG (50%), setup Schweigert
  63. Flyer from energiedienst AG Our hydropower in the Black Forest. PDF
  64. Entry WKW Wasserkraftwerk Wiesental OHG on; accessed on April 27, 2020
  65. Ökostrom Gruppe Freiburg has been operating the power plant since 2008, and it is owned by 126 citizens of Dora Schöl: This is how the operator of the Tumringer weir deals with the drought. In: Badische Zeitung of January 23, 2019; accessed on April 24, 2020
  66. Entry Wiesental Energie GmbH on; accessed on April 27, 2020
  67. Biological water quality of the flowing waters of Baden-Württemberg (reduced edition). (PDF) State Institute for the Environment, Measurements and Nature Conservation, Baden-Württemberg, 2004, accessed on October 24, 2015 .
  68. ^ Office for Environment and Energy, Basel-Stadt
  69. State Institute for the Environment, Measurements and Nature Conservation, Baden-Württemberg  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  70. A fresh bed for the river. June 8, 2011, accessed April 1, 2013 .
  71. State Institute for the Environment, Measurements and Nature Conservation, Baden-Württemberg ( Memento of the original dated June 12, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  72. ^ Meadow Landscape Park - Area / Topography., accessed on October 24, 2015 .
  73. ^ Office for Environment and Energy, Basel-Stadt
  74. Project description Wiesionen  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  75. ^ The meadow at Wikisource
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on August 11, 2008 in this version .