Preprint Article Version 1 This version not peer reviewed

Status of and Perspectives on River Restoration in Europe: 310 000 EUR per Hectare of Restored River

Version 1 : Received: 5 December 2017 / Approved: 6 December 2017 / Online: 6 December 2017 (06:57:11 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Szałkiewicz, E.; Jusik, S.; Grygoruk, M. Status of and Perspectives on River Restoration in Europe: 310,000 Euros per Hectare of Restored River. Sustainability 2018, 10, 129. Szałkiewicz, E.; Jusik, S.; Grygoruk, M. Status of and Perspectives on River Restoration in Europe: 310,000 Euros per Hectare of Restored River. Sustainability 2018, 10, 129.

Journal reference: Sustainability 2018, 10, 129
DOI: 10.3390/su10010129

Abstract

The purpose of the present research was to analyze the available data on river restoration projects. As the framework of our study, we conducted a structured international survey. We asked selected entities and experts from among those responsible for river restoration in European countries about the details and costs of European Union river restoration projects. We examined 119 river restoration projects that were implemented in Europe between 1989 and 2016; some of the projects were still ongoing. We observed that the number of river restoration projects has been increasing since 1989, which expresses society’s growing interest in improving the quality of aquatic environments. We revealed that 56% of these European river restoration projects have been implemented by dedicated entities and stakeholders, not as part of any structured, larger-scale river restoration policy; this indicates that most European countries do not have integrated plans for river restoration. Our analysis showed that 52% of the projects analyzed have been designed and implemented without the participation of local stakeholders. It also showed that the budgets for river restoration projects did not differ significantly across various time horizons from 1981 to 2016. In our study, the average cost of restoring 1 ha of an average European river was 310 000 EUR (or 195 000 EUR if 4 outlying values are excluded). Considering these projects’ permanent assets and including their amortization, for European river systems, we calculated the average unit price of a river restoration’s value in terms of ecosystem meta-service to be 7 757 EUR · ha-1 · year-1 (4 875 EUR · ha-1 · year-1 if 4 outlying values were excluded).

Subject Areas

river; restoration; ecosystem; management; water framework directive; ecosystem services

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