About the Free Flow

The Free Flow project focuses on the question of how dam removal is understood as a river restoration tool and applied in relation to the new European biodiversity target free-flowing river target of 25.000km. The Free Flow project was initiated by the World Fish Migration Foundation as one of the Dam Removal Europe activities. The project is subsidized by the Dutch Ministry of Nature and Nitrogen, The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and Rijkswaterstaat. The main project aim is to mainstream and scale up dam removal in river basins Rhine, Meuse, Scheldt and Ems. This will be done by stimulating knowledge exchange, connecting practitioners, celebrating success stories and opening up discussions in the river basins network.

Free Flow Webinars

Within the Free Flow project, two webinars will be held. The first webinar focused on ways to protect and restore free-flowing rivers and how dam removal can be applied as a river restoration measure to reach the European biodiversity target of 25.000 km.

On November 29th we held our very first Free Flow Webinar, as part of the International River Symposium in Vienna! The webinar was a great opportunity to showcase the importance of free-flowing rivers among practitioners, civil society, and policy makers and focused on how dam removal can be understood and applied as a river restoration tool to achieve the proposed EU goal of freeing up 25.000 km of river stretches until 2030.

We hosted a range of different speakers, from grassroots movements to the EIB and everything in between, while travelling throughout all of Europe and even hearing stories from other continents.

Besides these inspiring stories from the field, we also asked the attendees some questions from our preliminary Free Flow Survey for water managers, with some intriguing results: 97% of respondents see dam removal as a viable river restoration tool with excellent results, while almost half of them were not that familiar with the EU’s 25.000 km target: exciting years are ahead for our movement!

We are happy that more than 80% of attendees from a wide range of countries found the webinar either excellent or very good, and more than 70% thought the content was either extremely or very valuable and we will build on that.

We also had a very special speaker with us from the UK, namely Peter Evoy from the South Cumbria Rivers Trust, who just hours later got awarded with the European Riverprize by the IRF for the removal of the Bowston weir! Congrats to Peter and the whole team for this amazing project!

If you want to watch the Free Flow Webinar, recordings and presentations are available HERE, under the Free Flow Webinar tab.