Ĺ umava National Park

Hydrology

The system of natural surface waters in Šumava consists of springs and peatbogs, the network of streams and rivers and the glacial cirque lakes. This system is complemented by artificial water elements such as the log-floating canals and channels, as well as artificial stillwater areas (reservoirs to supply the log-floating canals, fishponds or reservoirs).

The entire territory of Šumava NP is included in the Natural Water Accumulation Protected Area (CHOPAV), which almost corresponds with the borders of Šumava PLA. Protection measures are implemented in CHOPAV, which aim to prevent the loss of the water potential of the area, to prevent deterioration of water quality, and to prevent negative impacts on the natural conditions which could reduce the natural retention capacity or prevent the use of the area’s water being used as a drinking water supply. The majority of the NP territory belongs to the North Sea–Labe (Elbe) river catchment with the main rivers being the Vltava and Otava, and only a small part of the territory along the state border belongs to the Danube catchment.

In addition to the natural flows, we can find artificial canals and streams in the area. The Vchynicko–tetovský log-floating canal is in the west of the NP and the Schwarzenberský kanál is found in the southern section.

The natural glacial cirque lakes are a specific hydrological feature of Šumava, and are found at elevations of around 1000 m. Their condition is currently influenced by the level of acidification as a result of acid deposition and the natural conditions in the lakes.