Exhibition of project results focused on historical water management

Lower reservoir of the Dlouhé Stráně pumped storage power station during discharge with a Pelton turbine nozzle
Photo: Jan Höll
Wednesday 16 November 2022, 8:00 – Text: Šárka Chovancová

The results of a research project focused on the evaluation of historical water management installations in the Czech Republic as to their importance for heritage conservation will be presented in an exhibition that will be on display at Fort Science from November 22 to 27. The travelling exhibition has already been presented in Hostětín, Čáslav, and Opava. The Department of Geography of the Faculty of Science participated in the five-year research entitled “Historical water management installations, their value, function and significance for the present”.

The individual parts of the exhibition will inform about the methodical approach related to the research of historical water management installations. The exhibition will also show the application of this approach to specific water management installations. Five model areas within the Czech Republic have been selected for more detailed research: the Svitava, Upper Morava, Moravice, Ploučnice and Čáslav basins. These areas differ from each other in terms of their historical development, management methods and physical and geographic conditions. “The differences of the basins will be represented at the exhibition by various types of water management structures, such as dams, small hydroelectric power plants, aqueducts, mill races carved in sandstone massifs, and water management installations,” said Renata Pavelková of the Department of Geography.

The department participated in the detailed assessment of the Upper Morava basin and the Čáslav region and, together with other research participants, in the model area of the Svitava river basin. Part of the exhibition will also be devoted to heritage-protected water management systems of neighbouring countries for comparison. There will be monuments from the UNESCO list such as the Water Management System of the city of Augsburg in Bavaria, and the ponds in the Štiavnica Mountains in Slovakia.

Historic water management installations are part of our industrial heritage and demonstrate the society’s technological maturity and its approach to water management in the landscape. “A team of experts has attempted to document this hitherto somewhat neglected type of constructions, identify their value, and compile a set of criteria for assessing their historical importance for their protection or possible restoration,” noted Pavelková.

The exhibition includes a critical catalogue that develops the individual themes presented in the exhibition panels in more detail and summarizes the results of the five-year project. The catalogue will be available for browsing at the exhibition. Further information, including the most valuable result – the expert methodology and maps with expert content and the database – can be viewed on the project website. In December the exhibition will head from Olomouc to Brno.

The research “Historical water management installations, their value, function and significance for the present” was financed by the NAKI II programme of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, and the Department of Geography of the Faculty of Science UP participated in it.


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