As we leave Zirl, we're taking a look eastward down the Inn, and so in the direction we'll be going toward Innsbruck.
        Note the tree-covered natural banks of the Inn here. In Innsbruck, we'll see the Inn constrained by carefully constructed flood walls, and the natural river banks will have been eliminated. The degree of modification of the Inn's alpine tributaries, and even of the Inn itself, is a political issue in Austria. Staightening, deepening, and walling streams reduces the extent of flooding in these upland regions. It also lets water move downstream faster, so that heavy rains cause more extensive flooding downstream - the water moves out of the mountain in one fast mass, rather than slowly moving into the rivers and causing floods of greater duration but lower height. Heavy rains in the sumer of 2002 led to extreme flooding in the lower Inn and Danube valleys, and residents there blamed the flooding on modification of streams and rivers in alpine regions like the Tirol.



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