Elb-H-Dinghy "Wirbelwind" in the traditional area. As an important transport route, electricity will always enjoy the attention of the federal government. In the case of the numerous backwaters, the commitment of the waterways and shipping administration, for example in buoying, should in future be based on categorization based on the assumed added value
Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer presented the long-announced concept for the WSV reorganization. It is based on the »5. Report on the Reform of the Waterways and Shipping Administration «by the competent specialist council headed by State Secretary Scheuerle.
The appendix to the 43-page document contains the categorization of the sea and inland waterway network on which the reform is based. According to this, all federal waterways will in future be subdivided into the categories (high volume of traffic, high income) up to C. Depending on the classification, these federal waterways should continue to be administered by the federal government as a priority or subordinate. Associated with this is, for example, the cost-intensive maintenance of buoys, port facilities, locks and bank reinforcements.
The future of the "other waterways", which are uninteresting for the federal government due to the lack of expected future added value, is now questionable. The responsible state secretary had already previously expressed the view to YACHT that in these areas the users of the waters should have a greater share in the costs incurred. The water sports associations then referred to the lump sums paid by the associations to the federal government for the use of the federal waterways by water sports enthusiasts.
Experts now fear that the tributaries in question will be deedicated. This would open the door to property management by the federal government from a purely economic point of view and would even contradict the efforts of the still young “Bundestag initiative to promote water tourism in Germany”.
Last but not least, the water sports associations fear for the home areas of their member clubs. "Even individual obstacles, shoals or damage to structures and locks can call the navigability of an entire waterway into question," says DSV President Rolf Bähr.
The German Motor Yacht Association points out that the waters in question have been neglected for a long time anyway. "The elimination of existing bottlenecks and maintenance of the partly outdated hydraulic structures cannot be guaranteed after such a budget cut. It is to be feared that entire parts of the network for recreational shipping will be eliminated in the future," said a statement from the association.
It is also questionable how the costs should be raised at all. The ministry also rejects the introduction of a vignette or toll. The aim is apparently to amend the Federal Fees Act. However, the implementation of the plans still requires the approval of the Bundestag. The government aims to enforce this resolution this year.