Restoration of hydrological system in the Middle basin of Biebrza Valley, Poland

National Id
Site name
Middle basin of Biebrza Valley
The aim of the EC LIFE programme's co-financed project is to improve the conditions for the protection of water habitats in the Middle Basin of the Biebrza Valley by: controlled management and irrigation of the area in order to stop the degradation processes of hydrogenic habitats within the water system of the Rudzki Canal – the Ełk River – the Jegrznia River – the Woźnawiejski Canal; creating habitat conditions for avifauna of open marshlands. One of the project activity is to build water constructions to support water retention particularly in dry years. The phase I of the restoration activities will be accomplished by 2016. Additionally, phase II has been also already launched.
RBD code
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study
Climate zone
cool temperate dry
Mean rainfall
Mean rainfall unit
Average temperature
Case Study Info
Light or indepth?
Monitoring impacts effects
Monitoring parameters
hydromorphological, vegitation and birds
Performance impact estimation method
Edge of Field/Plot
Performance impact estimation information
the methods involves field works, setting up monitoring sites for hydrological measurements
Application scale
River Basin
Performance timescale
1 - 4 years
Area (ha)
Design contractual arrangement
Arrangement type Responsibility Role Comments Name
Design consultation activity
Activity stage Key issues Name Comments
To implement the measures, the local spatial plan had to be ammended. Therefore SEA study was implemented, including public consultation.
Design land use change
Land use change type
Design authority
Authority type Role Responsibility Name Comments
Regional / sub-national water authority
Biebrza National Park
Planning of measures and implementing
Key lessons
The project is in implementation phase, the conclusions will be made in 2016.
Success factor(s)
Success factor type Success factor role Comments

The project is still in the implementation phase

Financing type Comments
EU-funds: LIFE+
LIFE09 NAT/PL/000258
Barrier type Barrier role Comments
Legal obligations / restrictions
main barrier
The long time of preparing the relevant papers to undertake investment and construction works
Driver type Driver role Comments
Legal obligations
main driver
to protect biodiversity in the Park area
Availability of subsidies
main driver
LIFE+ funding provides co-financing for such activities
Financing share
Financing share type Share Comments
European funds
National funds
Policy description
The main environmental problem is caused by a network of draining canals built in XIXth century under Russian Tsar administration which significantly lowered ground water table of neighbouring peatlands and changed habitat conditions in the region of two rivers – Jegrznia and Ełk as well as two canals: Rudzki and Woźnawiejski.
Part of wider plan
Policy target
Target purpose
Improved Biodiversity
Increase Water Storage
Runoff control
Policy pressure
Pressure directive Relevant pressure
Policy area
Policy area type Policy area focus Name Comments
Policy impact
Impact directive Relevant impact
Policy wider plan
Wider plan type Wider plan focus Name Comments
Local spatial plan of Goniądz
Policy requirement directive
Requirement directive Specification
Costs total information
The LIFE+ project budget for the phase I (2010-2016) is 3 658 824 EUR. There is also a follow-up LIFE+ project granted (Phase II, 2014-2018) - 6 641 806 €
Ecosystem improved biodiversity
Information on Ecosystem improved biodiversity
Although the monitoring results are not yet available, the area is very valuable for waterfowls.
Increased groundwater level
Information on Increased groundwater level
While the groun water level in the river is estimated to be increased, the growundwater level in the vicinity of channel will decrease.
Water quality overall improvements
Neutral impact-no change in WQ status
Information on Water quality overall improvements
The area is haveing minor economic activities, therefore change in water qyality is not monitored.


Logos of all partners of NWRM project