From 1817 to 1876, the Upper Rhine was straightened, which shortened it by 90 kilometres! With this construction, the originally braided, slow-flowing Rhine became a narrow, powerful river. Since then, it has been flowing up to 10 times faster than before, guiding most of the water it carries past the floodplain instead of into it. But as a wetland, the floodplain relies on water—the elixir of life—and this change in water flow has made it much too dry today. That is why the Rhine River and the floodplain have to be connected once again. This is the only way to preserve the ecological diversity of the old floodplain.