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


Hobølelva River: erosion, landslide & eutrophication

The Kråkstadelva catchment, as case study area, is located within the Hobølelva watershed, located ca. 30km S-SE of Oslo, Norway. The area of the Kråkstadelva catchment is approximately 51 km2. Agricultural land covers ca. 43% of the catchment (22km2) and it is dominated by cereal production. Forest covers ca. 45% of the catchment. Heavy clay soils dominate in the area (up to 80% of clay content). Mean annual temperature is 5.3°C and average annual precipitation is c.a. 864 mm. Floods of varied magnitude occur frequently in the catchment, typically during spring snow melt and autumn rainstorms. The main challenge in the area is water quality (incl. high phosphorus pollution) and soil erosion (incl. riverbank erosion and quick-clay landslides). There is already high focus on environmental mitigation measures, for example reduced tillage (no tillage in autumn), buffer zones, grass-covered water ways, constructed wetlands and the use of catch-crops.

OPTAIN project will support the case study team in identifying new land management strategies, including the best combination and allocation of measures in the catchment as well as implementing new (combinations of) measures, in order to improve water retention in the soil and the landscape and as a result reduce the risk of flooding, and improve water quality downstream.

Erosion control by agricultural and forestry techniques and soft hydraulics in the Bas-Rhin

The Bas Rhin department is sensitive to muddy water flows occuring during Spring and early summer storms, which impact farmers and villages located downstream of agricultural plots. In order to reduce this risk, the Agriculture Chamber and the local authorities are working together to develop ways of combating these phenomena, which are harmful to downstream areas. Within this partnership framework, a diagnosis of the erosion and mudslides risks is carried out by the Alsace Agriculture Chamber at the commune level, and gives rise to proposals for concerted crop rotation (preventive measures) and soft hydraulic developments (curative measures). On the basis of these recommendations, the installation of hedges, weirs and grass strips is carried out by different project leaders depending on the territory (municipalities or intercommunal). Concerted crop rotation is coordinated by the Agriculture Chamber, and also allows for the gradual transition of some crops to no-till techniques, while the communities manage the implementation of soft hydraulic works.


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