The Moosrain water supply association based in Oberding is now 40 years old. Water for around 20,000 residents in the communities of Eitting, Finsing, Moosinning, Neuching and Oberding is pumped from the seven deep wells. It was almost 2.3 million cubic meters in 2021. And it could have been a few more cubic meters, since the association has been drinking Munich Airport with its – until the Corona pandemic – 50 million passengers and around 40,000 employees a year since it went into operation -, industrial and extinguishing water supplied. In the Corona years, however, the decrease in the airport fell by around half. Last weekend, the new waterworks in Oberding was inaugurated with an open day.
According to the chronicle, the impetus for founding the special-purpose association was as early as 1971. It was suggested in an expert opinion by the Bavarian State Office for Water Management because of the necessary water supply for the planned Munich Airport. However, before it was founded on April 1, 1982, a number of meetings and negotiations between the municipalities, the authorities and Flughafen München GmbH (FMG) were necessary. And even before the airport went into operation on May 17, 1992, a water supply contract with FMG had been concluded in 1984 with a term of 30 years.
“We were already involved in the first thoughts about building the airport in the Erdinger Moos,” says Wolfgang Haberger, the business and works manager of the special-purpose association. Even then, plans were based on the airport’s current dimensions, says Haberger. But not that 20,000 people live in the five communities at some point. “The airport was actually planned to be much larger back then, with four runways and 50 million passengers or even more.” The water consumption shows how economically the airport is doing. Until Corona, he used around one million cubic meters of water annually, in the past two years it has only been around 560,000 cubic meters. “At the moment it’s about 70 percent of what it used to be,” says Haberger. It is remarkable that the airport still used 560,000 cubic meters in 2020, when it almost came to a standstill.
When building the new waterworks 1, the airport assumed around 2.6 of the seven million euros in construction costs
The contract with FMG is also financially lucrative for the association. The airport assumed 60 percent of the construction costs for waterworks 2 in Oberdingermoos and now around 2.6 million of the total costs of almost seven million euros for the new construction of waterworks 1. The new facility has four larger and two smaller water reservoirs, as well as a facility to filter out iron and manganese from the deep water. And everything is now highly automated and one hopes to have secured the water supply for the coming decades. “The investments will also benefit the airport,” says the managing director. With every investment, the contract is extended. It currently runs until 2034.
The water is obtained from seven deep wells, four are in Oberding “Obere Point” and between 140 and 160 meters deep, three in “Oberdingermoos”. There the water is pumped from depths between 94 and 141 meters. The fossil groundwater extracted from the wells from the Tertiary comes from the Ice Ages and cannot be used as drinking water when it has been pumped up, as it is oxygen-reduced and contains iron and manganese in quantities that are above the limit value of the drinking water ordinance, as stated on the homepage of the association ( www.moosrain.de ). It must therefore undergo mechanical processing. In large steel kettles, air is blown in to separate the water from the excess iron and manganese.
On the other hand, there is no problem with nitrate inputs from agricultural fertilizers. “Not yet, but we will have problems in the future due to the use of water,” says Haberger. “Agricultural irrigation will have to make cuts in the future. Simply to protect the deep groundwater for future generations.” One is still in the fortunate position that it is raining and still snowing in the Alps. “We’ll probably still have underground access for that long, because the direction of water flow is from the Alps to the Danube,” says Haberger. It is not possible to estimate how much water is still available at depth. Citizens are already saving everywhere. There are economy buttons on the toilet, shower heads that let less water through, economical dishwashers and washing machines. At the moment, each person consumes 127 liters a day, it used to be up to 220 liters. “The citizens are aware that they can hardly save any more.” The plant manager therefore sees potential savings primarily in industry and agriculture.
The water price has been 1.33 euros gross since 2021. For a long time, a cubic meter only cost 72 cents
While elsewhere the price for a cubic meter of water is already over 1.70 euros, in Munich for example at 1.77 euros, it currently costs 1.33 euros gross at the Moosrain municipal association. According to Haberger, it was only 72 cents by 2021. However, due to the old age of the lines – on average, the approximately 410-kilometer-long pipe network in the 175-square-kilometer supply area is 40 to 50 years old – more and more investments would be necessary. With every road construction or renovation, the line is completely renewed in order “to avoid the avalanche of costs that would otherwise arise”.