Operations at the Aschheim water ski park are suspended. The water level is too low. The operator now fears for the season. The reasons are puzzling.
Aschheim – Normally, the water ski park in Aschheim would be in high season. Beautiful weather and school holidays – the facility would actually be running at full speed. Actually. Because the lift system is at a standstill. "The lake has less water than ever before," says operator and tenant Elisabeth Lindinger: "We can't start the season."
Her mother, Renate Lindinger, opened the facility 23 years ago. Never before has the groundwater level been so low, says Elisabeth Lindinger. As early as March, the crew was eagerly awaiting water. Not at all. The start of the season during the Easter holidays was cancelled. Then April came, and it rained for weeks. "We were optimistic, the level rose by 50 centimeters in a month."
Short start to the season, then another break
This depth of water was sufficient. The TÜV came, checked the system and also accepted it, that was ten days ago. "The water level even provided a buffer of ten centimetres. That's why we went into operation last week, but didn't advertise it much." Elisabeth Lindinger was cautious and watched the lake. "Now we're back at the point where we can't continue," says Lindinger: "We lost ten centimeters of water in that time. That's not normal."
Since Monday, the plant has been shut down again, because a low water level poses a risk of injury. Elisabeth Lindinger hopes that it will rain again soon. "The Corona period was also very stressful, but it affected everyone, not just us." Now, however, the plant is the only one in Germany that has been shut down due to a lack of water.
"This is a great financial loss"
Lindinger needs a solution quickly. "We haven't had a proper operation since September, which is a big financial loss." She had to lay off her three employees, whom she was still able to employ at the partner lift in Thannhausen. "But that's a 120-kilometer drive, that's too far in the long run." She and her employees had sleepless nights: "The employees focused their livelihoods on the company here in Aschheim. Something broke away completely unprepared. Customers also stand in front of us and ask, do I have to stop exercising? Many see this as their post-work balance from the stress of everyday life."
Since 1999, the plant has been on the road to success. The water ski park is the destination of company events, during the holidays the school courses were fully booked, Lindinger has around 5000 customers. But what are the reasons for the low water level? "Just today, I had another conversation with a consultant who sees the reason in the construction site next door," says Lindinger. Very close to the lake, the Zweckverband is building the grammar school. "Since construction began, the water has suddenly dropped," says Lindinger, "but I'd have to prove it all first."
Why is the lake so dry?
Aschheim's Deputy Mayor Robert Ertl (FW) sees no connection: "The construction site does not go so deep. We don't even get to groundwater level, we stay in the gravel layer." He sees the reason in the drought: "The lake is fed by groundwater," as is Lake Heimstetten, which also carries little water. "In contrast to Lake Feringa, which has an inlet and outlet." The low level is a phenomenon that can also be seen elsewhere, says Ertl.
Is it possible that the interception ditch is related to the low water level? Lindinger has been asking authorities for months, talking to advisors and politicians. What to do? "My hands are tied, there's not much I can do."
In the Munich Water Management Office, the interception ditch is ruled out as the cause. "However, we are checking whether a dewatering system has been applied for for the school building, which allows groundwater to be pumped out," said the head of the authority, Stefan Homilius, yesterday: "We are looking into it and finding out." He considers the generally low groundwater level to be more likely: "The gravel ponds have not yet recovered from this. It's been raining less for ten years, they haven't been able to make up for the deficit yet." The measuring station in Kirchheim shows that the current groundwater level is about 75 centimetres below normal.
More news from Aschheim and the district of Munich can be found here.