Welcome to the website of the European Centre for River Restoration (ECRR)

The ECRR is a European network consisting of national centres, organisations, institutions and individual subscribents bound by their mission to encourage and support ecological river restoration throughout greater Europe.

The ECRR connects people and organizations working on river restoration. The network consists of almost 1000 contacts (organisations and individuals), is represented in 12 European countries by a national centre, and works together closely with a number of key partners.

The ECRR supports development of best practices of river restoration and disseminates information on ecological river restoration: for instance via the RiverWike Platform for case studies from all over Europe.

What is river restoration?

River restoration is action that restores the natural state and functioning of a river system in support of biodiversity, recreation, flood safety and landscape development. Read more...

Step-by-step guidance on how to develop and implement a successful river restoration project in Europe.

River restoration can generate economic benefits from tourism, recreation, flood control and many other services provided by healthy river ecosystems.

Restoration can make significant contributions to flood risk reduction by increasing the natural retention capacity of rivers. Excess water can be absorbed by restoring wetlands and floodplains, former meanders and other natural storage areas.

River restoration contributes to biodiversity by restoring natural habitats that support aquatic animals and plants.

Hydropower production may harm rivers by affecting changes such as natural water flows and disconnecting upstream and downstream areas. Restoration offers opportunities to mitigate these impacts.



The RESTORE project

The ECRR worked together in close collaboration with the RESTORE project, which ran between 2010 and 2013. It launched with six European partners and the objective of making connections between river restoration professionals in Europe and joining existing national efforts on river restoration.

The RESTORE partnership created this website to share knowledge and promoting best practice on river restoration in Europe. The partnership encourage the restoration of European rivers towards a more natural state for increased ecological quality, flood risk reduction, and social and economic benefits. As the project has ended, the ECRR will carry this forward.

Some of the other key outputs of the RESTORE project are the RiverWiki, the Layman's report (that sets a direction for future activities) and the river restoration guide for planners: Rivers by Design.

Publications-Latest uploads

ECRR Response to the Public Consultation to inform the Fitness Check of the EU Water Framework Directives and related Directives.

The ECRR is an independent Association, free to voice opinions, irrespective of the interest of partners and supporters. ECRR's main review conclusions are:

  • It is generally not the WFD and RBMP instrument causing problems in achieving results.
  • The aspect that fails is the implementation at the local, regional and national levels.
  • Failing is often based on conflicting objectives, lack of policy coherence or lack of political willingness and understanding.
  • ECRR remains very supportive of the WFD and does not want to see it or its ambitions weakened.
  • The WFD fits very well with the concept and vision of river restoration promoted by the ECRR.
  • This concept and vision fits very well with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration aim to restore degraded and destroyed ecosystems.
  • It is likely if the requirements for the WFD are lowered, then the status of rivers will not be subject to as many restoration actions at either a national or EU scale.

Download the full report: ECRR Submission to WFD Review 2010.3.19.pdf


ECRR Newsletter 3-2018 December

This newsletter testifies how a part of ECRR's mission 'Connecting people and organisations working on river restoration and management' is brought in practice in different manners, like by the questionnaire about ECRR communications, the ECRR general members meeting, participating in conferences and seminars, stimulating national river restoration centres, supporting of the WFD Review campaign and the call for collaboration on  river barrier location, removal and mitigation in Europe. By this way, already only in a couple of months hundreds to thousands of people are directly and/or indirectly contacted and connected.

Newsletter ECRR 3-2018.pdf


Presentations on river restoration and WFD implementation

To the occasion of the ECRR General Members Meeting a mini-symposium was organised by STOWA the National Centre for Stream and River Restoration in the Netherlands. The general theme was 'River restoration & WFD implementation'. An European and 4 national views from this perspective were presented to the 50 participants of the symposium in the morning, followed by a field exscursion in the afternoon.

OpeningPresentationGMM2018 ErnestdeGrootSTOWA.pdf

ECRRViewonRiverRestorationandWFDimplementation MartinJanes ECRRTheRRC.pdf

SystemAnalysisasbasisforriverrestoration BasvanderWalSTOWA.pdf


Enhancedriverrestoration&WFDimplementationNorway AndersIversenNorway.pdf


Case studies on river continuity restoration by weir removal in France!

The Agency for Biodiversity, also the National Centre for River Restoration in France provided us 6 case studies on river continuity restoration by weir removal in English language. These case studies are also included in the RiverWiki, but these information sheets give other, additional information about the projects.

1. REX2018_ALAGNON_GB_v2BD.pdf

2. REX2018_ERVE_GB_v3BD.pdf

3. REX2018_LEFF_GB_v2BD.pdf

4. REX2018_MARIA_GB_v2BD.pdf

5. REX2018_SIENNE_GB_v1BD.pdf

6. REX2018_SOANAN_GBv2BD.pdf


ECRR Newsletter 2-2018 July

The content of this ECRR Newsletter shows that the river restoration and river management communities are more, and more together on the move for more and better river restoration activities. The articles about the IS Rivers 2018 Conference and the GWP-CEE Summer School 2018 ‘Towards Agenda 2030’ witness a real drive by the youth and the science. Then the articles of the winner of the UK River Prize 2018 ‘Hill to Levels’, the French river continuity restoration approach and the Yecla de Yeltes Dam Removal, in Spain prove that the (best) practices are available.

The DriDanube Project article on the ‘Drought Risk in the Danube region’ describes an advanced approach for monitoring, early warning and impact assessments of droughts for the development of a strategy to improve drought emergency response.

A number of informative announcements are in this issue highlighted as well: The World Rivers Day on the 23rd of September, a handbook presentation ‘From sea to source 2.0’ on river connectivity restoration, and a call for cooperation on knowledge about all aspects of riparian vegetation by the COST CONVERGES Action. We want to remark the 16th EUROPE-INBO 2018 International Conference on the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive will be held in Sevilla, Spain and finally the international river restoration event calendar is updated extensively.

Newsletter ECRR 2018-2-July.pdf


For more publications go to the Publications page.

Tweets ECRR and partners

TweetId: 1109599576967643136 International RiverFoundation ReviveOurRivers ReviveOurRivers RT WorldBankWater: A wetland can act like a water treatment plant, and healthy soil can act like a drainage canal. Here’s how these na… https://t.co/E8PpgXMBpk 23-03-19 23:35
TweetId: 1109147193431207936 CIREF Cirefluvial Cirefluvial El calentamiento global obliga a cambiar la gestión del agua en España. Estudios científicos apuntan a una reducci… https://t.co/faG51WhwOx 22-03-19 17:37
TweetId: 1109133739093827584 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE Ziga & a representative of #Sava Youth Parliament brought #YouthVoices to the panel discussion with the Ministry of… https://t.co/V4GsA73XoE 22-03-19 16:44
TweetId: 1109133359630950400 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE "We, #youth see water issues differently, and we want to have an active role in shaping future directions and the d… https://t.co/aULUReJEXd 22-03-19 16:42
TweetId: 1109131914072522752 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE "We, #youth see water issues differently & we want to have an active role in shaping future directions & the decisi… https://t.co/2k1lz3XV9z 22-03-19 16:37
TweetId: 1109093386621992960 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE Now is the time to empower #youth - the future leaders of our society to face the current global challenges, to be… https://t.co/wKa8hxrdH3 22-03-19 14:04
TweetId: 1109082477258293248 INBO - RIOB INBO_RIOB INBO_RIOB RT AfriAlliance1: @AfriAlliance1 highlighted the alliance to Hon. Ronald Kibuule, Minister of State for Water in Uganda, @min_waterUghttps://t.co/vfEJjiF2Lm 22-03-19 13:20
TweetId: 1109078520179888129 Fish Migration fishmigration fishmigration @The_RRC Thanks for sharing! 22-03-19 13:04
TweetId: 1109076576732409857 Fish Migration fishmigration fishmigration RT AmFisheriesSoc: Via @AFS_President: “The 2019 meeting of AFS & @wildlifesociety is all about working across boundaries. Get ready… https://t.co/xPEkGp2zeO 22-03-19 12:57
TweetId: 1109065449172537350 SYKE SYKEinfo SYKEinfo #timanttiteko’palkinto 2018 jaettiin ilmastonmuutokseen sopeutumissuunnitelman yhteistyölle. Palkintoa vastaanottam… https://t.co/xIO5km7RcH 22-03-19 12:13
TweetId: 1109062802533240832 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE RT GWPnews: "How do we manage our water resources better? It's a question we must ask ourselves every day, on #WorldWaterDay, a… https://t.co/lalSC9NY35 22-03-19 12:02
TweetId: 1109059940260503552 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope RT EuroNaturORG: The perfect reading for #WorldWaterDay: Eco-Masterplan for Balkan #Rivers: - 80,000 km of rivers in the Balkans s… https://t.co/aRHZEKvT1O 22-03-19 11:51
TweetId: 1109055148909871105 ECRR Network ECRRnetwork ECRRnetwork RT EndangeredLands: The ELP's Gokova Bay project in Turkey will restore over 500 km of coastline, with @FaunaFloraInt and partner organ… https://t.co/I2E1WXg6Bx 22-03-19 11:32
TweetId: 1109050586882813952 SYKE SYKEinfo SYKEinfo RT LauriAhopelto: Käy lukaisemassa meidän pointit Suomen vesipolitiikan kehittämistarpeista. @WinlandFI #MaailmanVesipäivä #vesipäivähttps://t.co/FNnl9Gb8yS 22-03-19 11:13
TweetId: 1109037972433850368 SYKE SYKEinfo SYKEinfo #Maailmanvesipäivä:nä voi iloita myös vesiosaamisen onnistuneesta viennistä esimerksi Keski-Aasiaan @FinWaterWEI https://t.co/oCHnX4rkQb 22-03-19 10:23
TweetId: 1109034700218265600 SYKE SYKEinfo SYKEinfo RT FinWaterWEI: Water Safety Plan #WSP is a lot more than a piece of paper, it is a holistic approach to ensure safe drinking water… https://t.co/AfjWleDCa3 22-03-19 10:10
TweetId: 1109034623550533632 SYKE SYKEinfo SYKEinfo RT FinWaterWEI: Towards achieving SDG 6, Water Safety Plans ensure safe drinking water. @who_Europe's top story today on the… https://t.co/FxJ1BUOViN 22-03-19 10:10
TweetId: 1109027470911651840 riversnetwork.org riversnetwork riversnetwork https://t.co/L5k1cLNbAQ The interactive river basin maps on Rivers Network - Explore the Rio Parnaiba @WWF_Brasil https://t.co/BTBeYtmRYh 22-03-19 09:42
TweetId: 1109021939098677250 INBO - RIOB INBO_RIOB INBO_RIOB Millions of Europeans receive high-quality drinking #water every day. However, the provision of safe water for drin… https://t.co/5OWDZ5WuOT 22-03-19 09:20
TweetId: 1109020159799451649 Riversymposium riversymposium riversymposium The theme of #WorldWaterDay in 2019 is leaving no one behind. The IRF in partnership with @WaterPartnersAU supports… https://t.co/tosqpTVkV9 22-03-19 09:13

River Restoration Events

Registration open!

The meeting will discuss how to improve the environmental sustainability of hydropower in the perspective of the EU Water Framework Directive, while enjoying the striking nature. The meeting presents three main themes on day one and a fieldtrip on day two. The themes are:

1. Essential planning for sucesful improvement of environmental values while securing the benefits of hydropower production.  2. The smorgasbord of environmental measures and best available technology. 3. Governance with regard to sustainability, resilience, biodiversity and climate change.

Preliminarary Programme: Programme Sustainable hydropower.pdf

Registration and information: http://www.havochvatten.se/sustainable-hydropower

Contact: Björn Sjöberg; bjorn.sjoberg@havochvatten.se or Magnus Johansson; magnus.rjohansson@lansstrelsen.se.

Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management

6th ERRC, Vienna October '14

The ECRR and the SEE River Project together organised the 6th edition of the European River Restoration Conference (ERRC), integrated with the Final event of the SEE River project. The ERRC was held from 27 - 29 October in Vienna. 

The webpage on the conference contains all the presentations, recordings of the presentations, the conference report and the final statement.

Alongside the conference, the 2nd European Riverprize was awarded in Vienna's magnicifant City Hall on 28 October; the winner is the River Mur (Austria)!

Wetlands International presents River Talk; a series of short video interviews with featured speakers at the 2014 European River Restoration Conference. Topics include the state of Europe’s rivers, challenges, opportunities and innovative approaches for river restoration, the European Riverprize, better implementation of European environmental directives through green infrastructure, floods and disaster risk reduction, and urban planning. 

5th ERRC, 2013

Celebrating successes & addressing challenges

The European Centre for River Restoration, alongside the RESTORE partnership, organised the 5th European River Restoration Conference (11-13 September 2013) in Vienna, Austria.

The event showcased inspiring examples of river restoration and shared lessons learned about the successes, challenges and opportunities for river restoration in Europe. The conference brought together over 300 key policy makers and restoration practitioners to discuss opportunities for river restoration to achieve a number of environmental, economic and social objectives.

The conference featured the 1st European Riverprize awarded by the International River Foundation and won by the river Rhine.

See the conference programme and view the presentations, posters and videos on our conference page.