In August 2002 a flood caused severe damage, that even endangered the UNESCOWorld Heritage Site "Dessau-Wörlitzer Gartenreich" and the city Dessau. Especially the cities of Döbeln and Grimma suffered from the damages of the flood.
Its name could be derived from Old German (possibly Gothic) "Mulda" (𐌼ᚢ𐌻ᛞᚨ), meaning "dust" and a cognate of English "mould"). But more possibly it is related to the German "mahlen" which means "to mill". Therefore, Mulde probably means "the milling river" and corresponds to the great number of water mills driven by the river in former times. Nowadays, there are hydroelectric power stations in use.