On 27 and 28 September 2017, the IMPEL project “River development planning” held an expert workshop in Frankfurt am Main (Germany). The results of the workshop will serve as input for the envisaged IMPEL guideline on river development planning that is to be drafted in the course of 2018. One of the essential conclusions so far is the importance of transparent planning processes and of a frequent review and adaptation of the plan to changing circumstances.
The workshop, attended by 27 administrative and scientific experts from eight countries (Germany, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and the United Kingdom) discussed problems concerning the ecological and chemical quality of surface waters, and best practices how to plan and implement improvements to the status quo. The emphasis was put on concrete measures at regional and local level, below the usual level of River Basin Management Plans and Programmes of Measures under the EU Water Framework Directive.
Various presentations were given and discussed on topics ranging from the effects of pollution on the ecology of the river Nidda near Frankfurt or local experience with public participation in renaturation planning, to coordination of catchment management in England, control of water pollution from agriculture in Denmark and experiences with river contracts and pollution control in Italy. Discussions in break-out groups were facilitated on fact-finding for river development and on instruments for planning and implementation, especially regarding the involvement of stakeholders and the public, as well as the necessary administrative, legal and financial conditions. The workshop was concluded with a field visit to a waste water treatment plant and a renatured river section.