Welcome editorial by the REFORM Coordinator

Dear reader,

I am pleased to introduce the first REFORM newsletter. REFORM will prepare a newsletter every half year to inform interested people on the progress of our project and on other connected developments. You can subscribe to receive the newsletters automatically. Of course we very much appreciate when you forward our newsletter to other colleagues. At first I wish to introduce the REFORM project briefly to you.

REFORM addresses the 2010 FP7 research call on hydromorphology and ecological objectives of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). After multiple research projects that had a strong emphasis on assessment methods, the request for a new research project moved towards the effectiveness of river restoration and to more cost-effective and precise monitoring to evaluate the impact of hydrological and morphological interventions be it degradation or restoration. REFORM is therefore targeted towards development of guidance and tools to make river restoration and mitigation measures more cost-effective and to support the 2nd and future River Basin Management Plans for the WFD. REFORM will also develop a web-based tool for exchanging experiences with river restoration measures facilitated and enhanced through consultation with stakeholders.

Aims of REFORM are to provide a framework for improving the success of hydromorphological restoration measures and to assess more effectively the state of rivers, floodplains and connected groundwater systems. The restoration framework addresses the relevance of dynamic processes at various spatial and temporal scales, the need for setting end-points, analysis of risks and benefits, integration with other societal demands (e.g. flood protection and water supply). The work is being organized in three modules: (1) natural processes, (2) degradation, (3) restoration and all work packages are multidisciplinary.

Photo: REFORM partners at the kick-off meeting in Florence, Italy, 28 November – 2 December 2011

Photo: REFORM partners at the kick-off meeting in Florence, Italy, 28 November – 2 December 2011.

In this first newsletter you will find an article on the WISER project (www.wiser.eu). WISER already dedicated part of its research to restoration. WISER and FORECASTER (http://forecaster.deltares.nl) were the first two international projects addressing river restoration in Europe. The coordinator of WISER, Daniel Hering, is also a key partner in REFORM giving us the best opportunity to continue with the outcome of WISER.

Our ambition is to interview a key person on river restoration and river studies in Europe for each newsletter. In the first issue Prof. Klement Tockner amongst others editor of the book ‘Rivers in Europe’ and coordinator of the EU-funded BIOFRESH  (www.freshwaterbiodiversity.eu) project is in the spotlight.

In the first newsletter we present two aspects of REFORM: the cross-cutting work package 1 and the case study catchments. Work package 1 compiles and disseminates existing knowledge and expertise on river degradation and restoration in the first phase of REFORM. Case study catchments are one of the key features of REFORM. They assess the interaction between restored stretches and the status of the wider catchment. To prepare the sampling in these catchments, a field training was organised last May in Denmark. An impression of this meeting is presented. Also one of the case studies, the Narew River in Poland, is presented in this newsletter. The Narew River will be the venue for the 2nd all partner meeting of REFORM this coming September, which includes a workshop with local stakeholders to discuss the restoration strategy for this river.

From the very beginning of the project, REFORM partners have been invited to present the project at meetings of the WFD Common Implementation Strategy, at the Working Group F on Floods meeting in Bucharest and at the ECOSTAT hydromorphology meeting in Brussels. The interaction with such working groups is very important, because many studies to assess hydromorphology and ecology of rivers are carried out within Member States. REFORM wishes to connect and support these national research efforts. Short impressions of both meetings are given.

I would like to invite you to visit our website (www.reformrivers.eu), which gives further details on the REFORM project. Once deliverables are ready they will – of course - be uploaded here.

If you have recommendations to improve our website or newsletter, would like to explore the opportunity to cooperate or have questions, do not hesitate to contact me or any of the other REFORM partners.

On behalf of the REFORM team

Tom Buijse

Coordinator REFORM

For further information: 

Author: Tom Buijse