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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Benefits of European River Restoration Schemes

The analysis has been carried out through a review of existing databases, including the LIFE+ RESTORE wiki, the FP7 REFORM wiki, and some national databases. This report aims to underpin the replication of successful river restoration initiatives across the regions and to give suggestions on how to improve the way that European water policy can be implemented.

Benefits of European River Restoration Schemes.pdf

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RESTORE final report

The RESTORE project ran between 2010 and 2013. It launched with six European partners working to share and promote information on the best and most effective means of carrying out river restoration in Europe.

The overall mission of RESTORE was to: encourage the restoration of European rivers towards a more natural state. This delivers increased ecological quality, flood risk reduction, and social & economic benefits.

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ECRR Newsletters Back Catalogue

This pages contains all the ECRR newsletters from 1996 - 2014. More recent editions are available below as separate publications.

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Predicting the river morphology after River Restoration: the methodology VALURI


This poster proposes a tool which river managers may need to ascertain whether the key idea of River Restoration is valid, i.e. that rivers in more natural status are desirable not only for pure environmental reasons, but also to combat flood and geomorphic risk.

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LIFE's Blueprint for water resources

The European Commission has recently published the "LIFE's Blueprint for water resources". This is a collection of the best LIFE projects that contribute to the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD - 2000/60/EC), regarding water quantity, quality, river and wetland restoration and water related agricultural projects.
In particular, this LIFE Focus publication takes an in-depth look at projects targeting five key areas:

  • water quality and quantity;
  • water-related green infrastructure;
  • increasing water efficiency;
  • water re-use;
  • management tools for effective water use.

As its title suggests, LIFE's Blueprint for water resources is a practical companion piece to the recent European Commission Communication, 'The Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources'.

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European waters - assessment of status and pressures

This report's results present good and robust European overviews of the data reported by the first RBMPs, and of the ecological status and pressures affecting Europe's waters. Europe's waters are affected by several pressures, including water pollution, water scarcity and floods. Major modifications to water bodies also affect morphology and water flow. To maintain and improve the essential functions of our water ecosystems, we need to manage them well.

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Restoring the Elwha

The video gets a closer look at the large-scale restoration efforts and science behind the largest dam removal in U.S. history, which began in 2011 on the Elwha River in Washington State.

How do NOAA Fisheries scientists prepare for and measure the changes?

Look at the video

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Alpine Hydroelectric Power Plants and their "Long-range Effects" on Downstream Waters

 Alpine hydroelectric power plants not only affect the local waters, but also streams and lakes that lie far downstream. The transport of suspended solids, for example, is significantly reduced below reservoirs, which affects the oxygen content of lower lying lakes. Apart from suspended solids, reservoirs also retain nutrients. Download the full article

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This summary reports a few general principles of hydropeaking from hydropower plants, and the key findings of the Rhone-Thur Project concerning the impacts of this hydropeaking on the Rhone. Hydropeaking is one of the four priority topics considered across the different subject areas of the Rhone-Thur Project. In addition to the present, detailed specialist report (pdf 12.7 MB, in german), the Project’s website gives here an abridged summary of principles and practical information.


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Water is one of the 12 main issues listed within the Alpine Convention in Article 2. However, this specific issue has not yet been covered by a specific protocol. The objective of the Alpine Convention concerning water management is to preserve or re-establish healthy water systems, in particular by keeping lakes and rivers free of pollution, by applying natural hydraulic engineering techniques and by using water power, which serves the interests of both the indigenous population and the environment alike.

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