In July my family and I visited my parents in Huntington Beach, California. Every day we swam, bodyboarded, surfed, and played on the beach or in the pool.
When we returned home, I missed being in the ocean deeply. The Elbe is beautiful, but we cannot swim in it.
A friend told me pollutants are trapped in the mud at the bottom of the Elbe, hence the water is generally clean. However, when the water flow is heavy, such as during heavy rains, or because of spring snow melt, the river bottom is churned up, and the water becomes polluted again.
I believe engaging the river directly is the best way to galvanize the public and government to clean the river until we can swim safely in it. How?
We can build a surfable wave on the Elbe.
People have been surfing rivers around the world, and many are starting to design and build their own waves. Surf Anywhere is a firm that helped a group of young urban surfers design a wave in the Czech Republic, on the Elbe, below. Building the wave took one year and cost about 5000 EUR.
The profile of the waterfall looks like this:
The hydraulic jump isn't big enough to ride. We can place large boulders to slow the water down, and increase the height of the jump:
I believe this project would be much cheaper than my proposed Elbe Swim Ring, because we simply need to place some boulders on a section of the Elbe where the current is fast enough. We could build a bar next to the standing wave, it would bring tourists, and help the city stand out for the Magdeburg 2025 movement.