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Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010129

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

1
Department of Hydraulic and Sanitary Engineering, Poznań University of Life Sciences, ul. Wojska Polskiego 28, 60-637 Poznań, Poland
2
Department of Ecology and Environmental Protection, Poznań University of Life Sciences, ul. Wojska Polskiego 28, 60-637 Poznań, Poland
3
Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Warsaw University of Life Sciences—SGGW, ul. Nowoursynowska 166, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 2 January 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2018 / Published: 8 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Resources Economics)
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Abstract

The purpose of the present research was to analyze the available data on river restoration projects in Europe. 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; during the collection of data, some of the projects were still ongoing. Based upon the collected data 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 1989 to 2016. In our study, the average cost of restoring 1 ha of an European river was 310,000 euros (EUR). Considering these projects’ permanent assets and including their amortization, we calculated the average unit price of a river restoration’s value in terms of ecosystem meta-service to be 7757 EUR·ha−1·year−1. View Full-Text
Keywords: river; restoration; ecosystem; management; Water Framework Directive; ecosystem services river; restoration; ecosystem; management; Water Framework Directive; ecosystem services
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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.

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