WELCOME to the European NWRM platform

The EU Directorate General Environment promotes the use of nature-based green infrastructure solutions (official website) and this is progressively included in a range of policies of which for water. A range of activities and related relevant information portals are also available on climate change (Climate Adapt), on biodiversity (BISE), on forest (FISE).

As detailed on DG Environment official webpage, "Natural Water Retention Measures (NWRM) support Green Infrastructure by contributing to integrated goals dealing with nature and biodiversity conservation and restoration, landscaping, etc."

The current platform gathers information on NWRM at EU level. NWRM are green infrastructures applied to the water sector, which permit to achieve and maintain healthy water ecosystems, and offer multiple benefits.
From this page you can find out more about NWRM definition, browse NWRM related concepts, look for individual NWRMs or select them by benefits, access the practical guide that will help you find your way to implement NWRM, or directly access the different products: synthesis documents, catalogue of measures, catalogue of case studies. For easy navigation, please consult the user's guide. If ,you would like to have an overview on what this website could bring you, you can Access all main documents and datasets

You can also join us on LinkedIn and access the NWRM community of practice gathered on our discussion forum, and you can submit a case study...

NEW: Access new French case studies


Barking Riverside Green Roof Ecomimicry Experiment

Conserving important brownfield invertebrate community of regional importance as part of strategic multifunctional green infrastructure. Target species included the brown-banded carder bee (Bombus humilis) (UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species) and Gymnosoma nitens (RDB1) but also a wider set of species. This project used an innovative ecomimicry approach to designing urban green infrastructure for the new development. Ecomimicry involves mimicking the characteristics of local ecosystems, in this case regionally important open mosaic habitat which had formed on the post-industrial brownfield site.
Designing green roofs using ecomimicry of key brownfield habitat niches provided a mechanism for conserving the biodiversity, habitat connectivity and ecosystem service provision of the brownfield site post-development. This approach also offered opportunities for local communities to reconnect with nature, and the industrial heritage of the site, promoting engagement, ownership and enjoyment.
Novel green roof designs were developed and tested on site and were successful in supporting the regionally important biodiversity associated with the site prior to development. The results are being fed into innovative green infrastructure design that will be rolled out more broadly across the site as wider redevelopment continues. Embedding regional context into green roof design enabled alleviation of location-specific issues caused by urbanisation of the site and allowed restoration of regionally typical and important habitat and ecosystems. It is hoped that such design will enable Barking Riverside site to act as stepping stone habitat (Saura et al., 2014), providing connectivity between key sites that are being conserved and protected in the region

LiveDrava - Riparian Ecosystem Restoration of the Lower Drava River in Slovenia

Even though the natural dynamic of the Drava River was heavily altered after the construction of three hydro-power plants, some natural characteristics of this lowland river were still preserved. Due to large area of Drava River with its river branches, dry grasslands in the middle of a flooded forest, gravel bars, diverse river banks and other natural specificities with some artificial water bodies, such as accumulation lakes, are making this riparian ecosystem home to numerous (Natura 2000) species. Abandoned wastewater basins of Sugar Factory in Ormož (TSO d.d.) were restored as a semi-natural wetland with a constant supply of water which happened to be one of the key wetlands in Slovenia for a safe migration route of waterbirds.
Specificities: Due to 3 hydro-power plants, natural dynamic of Drava River was heavily altered, and in Ormož wastewater basins of a Sugar Factory were abandoned.
Challenges: To preserve and enlarge populations of Natura 2000 species, to improve and restore habitat types with unfavourable conservation status.

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The NWRM project is gathering a large set of data and information and provides all this in a structured format on this website. It was not primarily focussed on Inspire Directive but the platform was developed to gather relevant NWRM knowledge and structure it and give access to it as much as possible, and in an easy to use and accessible way, which is largely what is required under Inspire Directive.


Natural Water Retention Measures are multi-functional measures that aim to protect water resources and address water-related challenges by restoring or maintaining ecosystems as well as natural features and characteristics of water bodies using natural means and processes. […]

Source: “EU policy document on Natural Water Retention Measures”, WG PoM, 2014)


full definition

Case studies

Measures have been implemented in the field.
To see examples of implementation see the catalogue of case studies or click directly on the map below.

Catalogue of case studies


Information on benefits, costs, effectiveness, financing etc. included in the three following categories:


Logos of all partners of NWRM project