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WG ECOSTAT Report on Common Understanding of Using Mitigation Measures for Reaching Good Ecological Potential for HMWBs (Part 2)


WG ECOSTAT Report on Common Understanding of Using Mitigation Measures for Reaching Good Ecological Potential for HMWBs (Part 2)

Impacted by flood protection structures

One of the core activities for the Common Implementation Strategy Working Group ECOSTAT between 2013 and 2017 has been to try to compare the ecological quality expected by different countries for water bodies impacted by flood protection. The process involved the use of a number of workshops and questionnaires to collect relevant information from European water managers. This report, edited by Dr. Eleftheria Kampa (Ecologic Institute) and M. Bussettini, is based on information collected via a template on mitigation measures for water bodies impacted by flood defence structures, which was completed by 18 countries. The report is available for download.

Hydromorphological alterations due to floods are among the most widespread pressures on water bodies in Europe. Along with storms, floods are the most relevant natural disaster in Europe, in terms of economic costs due to direct damage to infrastructure, property and agricultural land, and indirect losses. As such, flood protection structures and actions are among the main causes for hydromorphological alteration and ecological impairment. Moreover, mitigation measures options, in the case of heavily modified water bodies (HMWB) for flood protection, are very limited. Any action for mitigation could in fact result into a weakening of flood protection, increasing risk for population and assets. However, in a substantial number of these water bodies, the effects of the alterations are expected to require some mitigation if good ecological potential (GEP) is to be achieved.


Bussettini M, Kling J, van de Bund W, Eds: Kampa E & Bussettini M, Working Group ECOSTAT report on common understanding of using mitigation measures for reaching Good Ecological Potential for heavily modified water bodies - Part 2: Impacted by flood protection structures, EUR 29131 EN; Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2018, ISBN 978-92-79-80290-4, doi:10.2760/875939, JRC110957

M. Bussettini
J. Kling
W. van de Bund
Published In
JRC Technical Reports
978-92-79-80289-8 (print), 978-92-79-80290-4 (pdf)
1018-5593 (print), 1831-9424 (online)
47 pp.
Project ID
Table of Contents

1 Introduction
1.1 Scope of the report
1.2 Key principles - Heavily Modified Water Bodies and Ecological Potential
1.3 Intercalibration of ecological status and potential
1.4 Mandate and scope of the information exchange on GEP mitigation measures
1.5 Report structure and content
2 Flood defences and impacts on water bodies
2.1 What is a "flood"?
2.2 Flooding in Europe
2.3 What are flood defences?
2.4 Relationship to Floods Directive
2.5 HMWB designation due to flood protection
3 European questionnaires on Floods and GEP
3.1 Structure of the questionnaire on Floods & GEP
3.2 General questions on HMWB designation
3.3 Specific questions on impact detection and mitigation measures
4 Outcomes from the European questionnaire on Floods & GEP
4.1 Responding countries
4.2 Impact detection
4.2.1 Ability of MS methodologies for hydromorphological assessment to detect hydromorphological alteration
4.2.2 Spatial extent of hydromorphological impacts
4.2.3 Relevance of the alteration for the achievement of legitimate use and effect on the ecological status
4.3 Mitigation measures
4.3.1 Types of mitigation measures
4.3.2 WFD pressures and mitigation measures related to flood protection
4.4 Management and maintenance
4.4.1 Mitigation measures related to flood protection: presence in MS national libraries and/or consideration of impacts from flood defence
4.4.2 MS assumed effectiveness of mitigation measures to improve hydromorphology and biological quality vs. effect of measures on use
4.5 Reasons for ruling out mitigation measures to classify a HMWB as GEP
5 Conclusions and recommendations for flood protection
List of abbreviations and definitions

List of figures
List of tables
Annex 1 - Relevant EC documents and sources
Annex 2 - UK Specific Mitigation Measures
Annex 3 – More detailed flood protection measures in Germany