The widening and regulation of rivers have, in the past, led to a series of impacts ranging from damages caused by floods, problems with water power, the loss of wetlands as well as the ongoing widening and regulation of tributaries flowing into main rivers. The public has become involved in a controversial debate on the general question of whether river regulaton is even necessary.
Central Rhine Valley near Bonn – Foto: Helge May
All too often, the issue itself, i.e. restoration and regeneration of rivers and their flood plains - one of many important step towards a healthy and sustainable environment for all - is not perceived to the urgent degree of importance that this critical topic deserves. While intact wetlands have been disappearing and rivers are being forced out of their natural river beds, we have, at the same time lost evaluation standards suitable for the current river policy.
A general outline of NABU‘s vision of „Living Rivers“ has been drawn up and covers the main points. The measures and steps recommended in the outline can, from case to case, be clearly defined to accommodate the situation of a particular river or section of river. The outline appeals mainly to parties concerned with navigable rivers.