Lipno, A Landscape Severely Tested

Ing. Pavla Setničková

Summary: When, at the end of 1989, the region around Lipno emerged from the shadows of the previously closely guarded border zone that surrounded almost the entire right shore of the lake, a completely new, unknown landscape opened up for visitors and permanent residents of the left shore to discover.

Forty years of isolation and restrictions on human activity had left a clear mark. On the one hand, entire villages disappeared from the face of the earth, and with them several centuries of settlement history. On the other hand, natural processes were able to take place here without any significant disturbance from human activity, and nature gradually began to take away what had once been earned through the toil of many generations. This created a completely unique environment, a kind of secondary wilderness that is unparalleled in Central Europe.

This uniqueness of the environment naturally did not escape the emerging tourism entrepreneurs, who quickly noticed an unprecedented opportunity. However, over the following years it became clear that the development path taken in Lipno had no predetermined barriers, except perhaps the boundaries of the cadastral area.

The example of Lipno nad Vltavou has unfortunately inspired other groups of investors and developers who are trying to apply this development model throughout the Lipno area. This is a concern for many of the people living in the area permanently, cottage owners, and traditional visitors, who have for decades sought and still find a counterbalance to city life here: sparsely populated, undeveloped, free-flowing countryside, water to swim in and silence at night with starry skies undisturbed by street lighting.

Scientific hydrobiological studies based on long-term monitoring clearly show that the water conditions in the Lipno River began to improve after the construction of sewage treatment plants in individual municipalities during the 1990s, which resulted in a smaller increase in cyanobacteria during the summer months. However, with the development of mass tourism has resulted in a greater volume of wastewater discharged into the reservoir, and this trend has reversed, and pollution has been steadily increasing again for many years.

A scarce commodity in the current development practices of tourism in Lipno is frugality and the pursuit of long-term sustainability. Tourism can be a good workhorse that can work for many years under a reasonable load and bring benefits. However, it must not work alone. So far, it seems that municipal councils either cannot or do not want to see the risks of industrial tourism. Gradually, however, civil society is becoming more active.

On behalf of Lipensko pro život, z.s.
Ing. Pavla Setničková, chairwoman of the association