Publications on River Restoration in Europe

This page gathers the most interesting case studies, best practices and other relevant studies on River Restoration in Europe. Feel free to download the publications and share them among your network.

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UNESCO book: River Restoration

This book is the result of a collaborative effort between the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the General Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Planning and Design, Ministry of Water Resources, People's Republic of China (GWIP). GWIP has been tasked with coordinating a major programme of work to improve the condition of small and medium sized river basins in China. Many of these rivers become severely impacted as a result of pollution, over abstraction of water, dredging and other works within the channel and adjoining floodplain. This book was originally conceived to provide support to the planning and mangement of China's river restoration programme by reviewing approaches to river restoration and identifying frameworks and methods suitable to the Chinese situation. The content, however, considered to be universally applicable.


The book aims to identify the principles, procedures, and approaches that most commonly underpin restoration efforts. It is designed to destill lessons from international experience and provide guidance for those undertaking river restoration programmes. The book is not designed to replace the many detailed technical manuals that exist for designing an implementing river restoration at project level. Rather the book focuses on the startegic aspects of programme design, including linkages between river restoration, basin planning and mangement processes and of restoration activities can be incorporated into or aligned with broader water manegement activities and objectives. In addition, the book considers river restoration in the context of heavily modified, and often significantly degraded, river systems where restoration is commonly focused on balancing ecosystem functions and human needs.

In considering river restoration issues, and taking a basin-wide view of management actions, this book details restoration of the river corridor. While land use changes are significant factors affecting rivers, for reason of concision and practicality, this book focuses mainly on river corridor restoration rather than the much broader issue of land-use and river health. The book also touches on restoration efforts for lakes and wetlands, but these freshwater systems are not in its major focus.

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