Year after year, snow-related alpine tourism significantly contributes to Austria's economic vitality. In the recent past, ski lift operators and winter sports municipalities have arranged a growing amount of merger and extension projects to create additional skiable areas, and to ultimately increase the number of paying skiers through a more attractive winter sports offer. These usually EIA-needing schemes are able to induce significant impacts on waters and aquatic habitats, which are caused by higher water abstraction to cover the new slopes with artificial snow, construction measures and other operations. As a result, multiple compulsory permissions under water and nature conservation legislation are needed. The Water law act, which is the focal point in terms of water protection, sets limits to the water utilisation claims of project applicants, and moreover contains special remediation and conservation duties in implementation of the Water Framework Directive. In addition, the Nature Conservation Acts of the federal provinces, as well as the Alpine convention, entail substantial regulations too. To be capable of granting the necessary permissions, authorities have to rate public interest in the realization of the particular skiing resorts merger or extension as superior to the respective water bodys preservation. Because of their lack of compability, the balancing of economic and egologic interests constitutes a major issue in practice, and the subsequent decisions typically are of political nature.