The Lahn Concept (Action A 1)

Invitation to kick-start workshops - Citizens and stakeholders are in demand!

The Waterways and Shipping Office Mosel-Saar-Lahn (WSA Mosel-Saar-Lahn) as a project partner of the integrated EU LIFE project "LiLa - Living Lahn" creates a development concept for the Lahn by 2025.

What is the future of the Lahn? The development concept will answer this. It is being developed in dialogue with stakeholders, administrations, citizens and other representatives of the region. The dialogue process for the collection of your interests starts in September 2017 with three equally structured workshops:

16.09.2017 Gießen, Netanya-Saal in the old castle

23.09.2017 Limburg, Hall of the Pallottines

30.09.2017 Bad Ems, large meeting room in Kreishaus

We cordially invite you to this and look forward to your lively and constructive cooperation. For organizational reasons, please register by 13.08.2017 at the latest. Further information on the registration possibilities and the course of the events can be found in the attached documents (german).


Gerneral information of the Lahn Concept

The core measure of the WSA Mosel-Saar-Lahn is the so-called Lahn-Concept. It will be the framework concept for the future use and maintenance of the Lahn on a length of approx. 148 km from the Badenburg weir at Giessen (km -11,075) to the mouth of the Rhine near Lahnstein (km 137,300). Since 1981 already, the Lahn has no longer been used for freight transport. The weir buildings partly need substantial restoration and maintenance works, calling for urgent action of the responsible authorities.

In the coming years, the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV) will faced the challenge to develop innovative concepts for the future use of approx. 2,800 km of secondary waterways. They have lost their importance for freight traffic due to changing transport flows and ship sizes and are now mainly used for tourism. Thus, it will be a key issue to elaborate concepts in order to face the challenges arising from the development described above. The common elaboration of the ‘Lahn-Concept’ is considered a pilot activity for the WSV, serving as blueprint for further sustainable development concepts of other federal waterways of the same category.

The Lahn-Concept pursues a holistic approach in order to integrate the numerous interests, usages and stakeholders along and of the Lahn river into the development process. With the participation of all project partners and the interested public, the Lahn-Concept offers a unique opportunity to ‘re-invent’ the technical maintenance of the Lahn, to enhance the ecological health and connectivity of the river itself, to improve the potentials for tourists, to implement the goals of the Water Framework Directive and to consider further relevant correlations.


The development of the concept will strive for integrated and unbiased solutions without pre-defining the results for the future use of the Lahn. The challenge will be to balance the competing interests as there are flood protection, conservation, nature conservation, shipping, water conservation, economic efficiency, hydroelectric use, tourism, agriculture, fisheries, etc.

For this purpose, the responsible project partner WSA Koblenz involves the public in a dialogue process at an early stage. Transparency and acceptance among the population will be fostered by regular publications, working groups and workshops, wherever necessary in order to collect feedback from relevant stakeholders.

A viable future solution for the Lahn will only be achieved if all stakeholders and interest groups are able to accompany the process in a compromising and constructive way. The involvement of the public will be organized as an interactive dialogue process starting in autumn 2017.

The elaboration of the Lahn-Concept will be carried out over the entire lifetime of the LIFE project (until 2025). The aim of the project is to formulate the "Lahn Declaration" for signature by the two Länder Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate as well as the national Federal level at the end of the project for submission to the to the EU.

Outlook and timetable for drafting the lahn concept (Source: WSA Koblenz)