RWA, active mining water management system


Historical records of ore mining in the Ore Mountains begin in 1168, when silver ores were discovered in the vicinity of today's Freiberg. More than 800 years of mining history of the Ore Mountains are based on this discovery.

The water storage ponds, water ditches and tunnels of the Aktive Revierwasserlaufanstalt Freiberg/RWA (active mining water management system) are nearly exclusively surrounded by agricultural and forest landscapes. This active mining water management systém stretches from the Bohemian border near Cämmerswalde in the area of what is now the Rauschenbach Talsperre (dam) to the city of Freiberg. The planning and the construction of this mining water management system started in 1558 to supply the still deeper mines of the Freiberg mining area with enough water energy for the water pumping systems of the mines, year-round. Between 1558 and 1913 ten artificial ponds with a combined capacity of 5.7 million m3 water storage as well as around 50 km man-made ditches and 21 km tunnels were built together with administration buildings and the necessary technical installations. It was only in 1882 that the mining water management system was completed. Primarily, the Rothschönberger Stolln (adit) was a part of the system which since 1852 was administrated under the name Revierwasserlaufanstalt (mining water management agency). When the Freiberg mines were closed in 1913 the water of the system was used for the production of electricity in the water power plants of the Constantin Schacht (shaft) and the Drei-Brüder-Schacht (shaft) in the Zug mining landscape. Since 1972 the system supplies the region with drinking and service water. After 1990 the mining water management system was formed as a department of the Saxon Landestalsperrenverwaltung (State Dam Administration). The RWA is today responsible only for the historic mining water management system from the Czech border to the north of Freiberg.