ECRR Technical Newsletter 1 - 2021, May.

ECRR Technical Newsletter 1 - 2021, May.

Across the European Centre for River Restoration (ECRR) member countries it was commonly agreed that there was no overview of longitudinal river continuity restoration policy, planning and implementation progress across different countries. Therefore, the River Continuity Survey was set up to investigate the situation in each country and to ask the national river management authorities to clarify the general and country specific policies, demands and the support that is needed. This survey has obtained a pan-European overview of the current status of policies and future plans regarding river continuity in all countries. The overall conclusion is that European and national governments, supported by NGOs and (knowledge) networks (such as the ECRR), can together contribute to developing the policy, planning and implementation to achieve the specific goals of longitudinal continuity restoration.


A river continuity survey approach made it possible to investigate the current situation in every participating country regarding the recognition of the importance of river continuity in national policies and the potential for restoration. By getting to know the country specific situations, the questions have provided insight into policies and the required support concerning guidance and tools. In order to advance river continuity restoration, what should be the main strategy per country and/or group of countries? This has been analysed through 60 questions, put to national governments which covered the following topics:

  1. Recognition of river continuity in current national policies
  2. The potential of river continuity restoration in each country
  3. Observations/opinions on the importance of and opposition to river continuity restoration


The answers to this survey and the results of their analyses have allowed initial conclusions and recommendations to be drawn as to the current situation regarding river continuity restoration policies and strategic planning in wider Europe. This information can be used in follow-up activities to formulate advices, improve current policies or propose and develop new policies and national restoration strategies, and generate greater support. Altogether, this could subsequently be developed into a Europe-wide openly accessible database on the plans, progress and status of river continuity, assisting national governments and river authorities in restoring river continuity. This will be beneficial for all the participating countries for achieving the relevant water legislation targets and UN Sustainable Development Goal 6.5.