Water management - Basic Information and Legislation

The territory of the Moravian-Silesian region lies mainly within the Odra basin. A small part (1.6%) lies within the Morava basin. Most of the Moravian-Silesian Region drains into the Odra and its tributaries (e.g. Opava, Ostravice and Olše). The Odra leads this water out to the Baltic Sea. Only in part of the Low Jeseník region around Rýmařov and a small area of Nový Jičín district does water drain into the Morava and flow out to the Black Sea. Three major tributaries fan into the Ostrava Basin, of which the Odra forms the hub. The Opava flows from the Jeseník range, while the Ostravice and Olše run from the Beskids. The Jeseník and Beskid parts of the Odra watershed have differing characters for their river networks, as a result of their differences in geological, climatic and hydrological conditions. The Beskid Mountains have among the highest rainfall in the Czech Republic and also have the highest density of flows. The incline of the Beskids’ river network is roughly twice as much as that of water flowing from the Jeseník Mountains.

The Odra River is the backbone river for the Moravian-Silesian Region and one of the most important waterways in Central Europe. It traces an 854-kilometre path from its source to the Baltic Sea. Of that distance, 112 kilometres are in the Czech Republic and 742 kilometres are in Poland. Its source is the springs under Fidlův Kopec in the Czech portion of the Oder Ridge. It flows through western Poland, then going on to create a 187-kilometre-long border to the north between Poland and Germany. At the Szczecin delta north of the Polish city of Szczecin, the river splits into three branches (Dziwna, Svina and Peene) before emptying into the Baltic Sea.

The Opava is a tributary of the Odra that originates at the confluence of the Bílá (White), Zlatá (Gold) and Černá (Black) Opava in Vrbno pod Pradědem. The White Opava rises from the eastern slopes of Praděd, near the Chata Barborka lodge, while the Black Opava emerges in the northwestern slopes of Orlík and the source of the Gold Opava (sometimes called the Middle Opava) is on the northeastern slopes of Praděd. The name Opava is used only after the Middle and Black Opava rivers merge. It forms the border with Poland (the Silesian Voivodship) from the mouth of the Opavice to Opava-Vávrovice, a distance of about 25 kilometres. The largest tributary is the Moravice.

The historical border between Moravia and Silesia partially follows the course of the Ostravice, while mildly deviating from its course in other parts. The river’s name comes from its fierce (“ostrý”) flow. The upper part of the river is dammed and forms the Šance Reservoir. In the eponymous village of Ostravice, rapids form a remarkable, and protected, natural formation. It is a right-bank tributary of the Odra River.

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