Removed Barriers

European rivers are full. Of fish? No, barriers. Over 1 million barriers are blocking our rivers but as shown in the map above more and more are removed each day.

As is shown on the European Dam Removal Map*, many dams have been removed. However, we are only scratching the surface here. Over 1 million barriers are still blocking the European rivers. The amount of removed dams is a good development but there is still a big challenge to remove all the barriers and to create free flowing rivers in Europe.

This data is compiled from many different databases. We apologise for any irregularities and if you have any data or you are missing a dam, please contact us:


*The data used for the map is made available thanks to: 

  • Sweden: National Swedish database (this database does not distinguish between naturally removed and man-removed barriers)
  • France: Service d’administration nationale des données et référentiels sur l’eau (SANDRE), (this database does not distinguish between naturally removed and man-removed barriers)
  • Spain: Ministry of Ecology Transition (MITECO)
  • Finland: Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
  • England: Environment Agency (EA)
  • Wales: Natural Resources Wales (NRW)
  • Italy: Centro Italiano per la Riqualificazione Fluviale (CIRF)

Yellow markers indicate the dams removals with an available case study.

Mapping dams in European rivers

Barriers in European rivers

The above map is a result of the AMBER project which aims to map all barriers in European rivers. The map has two tabs, one is called “App” this is all the data collected by Citizen Scientists using the “Barrier Tracker“, a smartphone app designed to give all citizens a chance to track barriers in their river.

The other tab is called “Atlas”, this is a collection of official data gathered by scientists from the AMBER project and is frequently updated. That is why some countries might not show any barriers yet.