In 1999, transport on the river was made difficult by the NATO bombing of three bridges in Serbia during the Kosovo War.Clearance of the resulting debris was completed in 2002, and a temporary pontoon bridge that hampered navigation was removed in 2005.In Rigvedic Sanskrit, dānu means "fluid, drop", in Avestan, the same word means "river".
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Old European river names derived from a Proto-Indo-European *dānu.
Other river names from the same root include the Dunajec, Dzvina/Daugava, Don, Donets, Dnieper, Dniestr and Dysna.
In 1994 the Danube was declared one of ten Pan-European transport corridors, routes in Central and Eastern Europe that required major investment over the following ten to fifteen years.
The amount of goods transported on the Danube increased to about 100 million tons in 1987.
At the Iron Gate, the Danube flows through a gorge that forms part of the boundary between Serbia and Romania; it contains the Iron Gate I Hydroelectric Power Station dam, followed at about 60 km (37 mi) downstream (outside the gorge) by the Iron Gate II Hydroelectric Power Station.
On 13 April 2006, a record peak discharge at Iron Gate Dam reached 15,400 m/s (540,000 cu ft/s).
The German Donau (Early Modern German Donaw, Tonaw, Classified as an international waterway, it originates in the town of Donaueschingen, in the Black Forest of Germany, at the confluence of the rivers Brigach and Breg.
The Danube then flows southeast for about 2,800 km (1,700 mi), passing through four capital cities before emptying into the Black Sea via the Danube Delta in Romania and Ukraine.
Its drainage basin extends into nine more countries.
The Danube river basin is the most biodiverse region in Europe, and is home to hundreds of fish species, such as pike, zander, huchen, wels catfish, burbot and tench.
Its goal is to implement the Danube River Protection Convention by promoting and coordinating sustainable and equitable water management, including conservation, improvement and rational use of waters and the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive.