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Room for the River as antidote to Europe’s flood woes

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By Paul Brotherton

As part of a training course on river restoration sponsored by the RESTORE project, I recently visited the Waal River, a main branch of the Rhine River, flowing through the Netherlands. Here the Dutch are making ‘Room for the River’, restoring floodplains to reduce the risks of floods and creating benefits for people and nature. On the heels of recent catastrophic floods in Central Europe, this approach deserves a closer look if Europe is to meet many of its growing environmental and social policy challenges, including climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

 

River restoration after June floods in Europe ?

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Following  flooding across much of Europe in June the idea of integrating rivers back into their natural floodplains is being more widely discussed. An article in Spiegel Online looks at the effects of fthe flooding in Germany and asks whether governments are looking more seriously at river restoration.

A field near the town of Kamern, about 100 kilometers west of Berlin, before and after the flooding.

Photo: Spiegel Online

Environment Agency and Natural England to remain separate

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Natural England and the Environment Agency will continue as separate entities but must undertake significant changes in the way they operate, Defra Secretary Owen Paterson has announced but they will be required to review their services and make further efficiences.

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