Floodplain restoration and management

Code: 
N03
Sector: 
Hydro Morphology
The complete description of the NWRM: 
Summary: 

A floodplain is the area bordering a river that naturally provides space for the retention of flood and rainwater.  Floodplain soils are generally very fertile and they have often been dried-out to be used as agricultural land. Floodplains in many places have also been separated from the river by dikes, berms or other structures designed to control the flow of the river. They have also been covered by legacy sediments.

Major floodplains roles have thus been lost, due to land drainage, intensive urbanization and river channelization. The objective is to restore them, their retention capacity and ecosystem functions, by reconnecting them to the river.

Restoring the floodplain roles requires measures such as:

-          modification of the channel,

-          removing of the legacy sediment

-          creation of lakes or ponds in the floodplain

-          new/modification of agricultural practices,

-          afforestation, etc.

-          plantation of native grasses, shrubs and trees

-          creation of grassy basins and swales

-          wetland creation

-          invasive species removal

-          riparian buffer installation and development

Illustration(s): 

Floodplain before flooding

Source: Thomas Borchers’ presentation,
NWRM Workshop 1 (from: Christian Damm)

Floodplain during flooding

Source: Thomas Borchers’ presentation, NWRM Workshop 1 (from: Nora Künkler)

Possible benefits with level: 
Benefits Levelsort descending
BP1 - Store runoff High
BP2 - Slow runoff High
BP3 - Store river water High
BP4 - Slow river water High
BP6 - Increase infiltration and/or groundwater recharge High
BP10 - Reduce erosion and/or sediment delivery High
BP11 - Improve soils High
BP13 - Create riparian habitat High
BP14 - Create terrestrial habitats High
ES1 - Water storage High
ES2 - Fish stocks and recruiting High
ES3 - Natural biomass production High
ES4 - Biodiversity preservation High
ES6 - Groundwater/aquifer recharge High
ES7 - Flood risk reduction High
ES8 - Erosion/sediment control High
ES10 - Recreational opportunities High
ES11 - Aesthetic/cultural value High
PO1 - Improving status of biology quality elements High
PO2 - Improving status of physico-chemical quality elements High
PO3 - Improving status of hydromorphology quality elements High
PO7 - Prevent surface water status deterioration High
PO9 - Take adequate and co-ordinated measures to reduce flood risks High
PO10 - Protection of important habitats High
PO11 - Better protection for ecosystems and more use of Green Infrastructure High
PO12 - More sustainable agriculture and forestry High
PO13 - Better management of fish stocks High
PO14 - Prevention of biodiversity loss High
ES5 - Climate change adaptation and mitigation Low
BP15 - Enhance precipitation Low
BP5 - Increase evapotranspiration Medium
BP7 - Increase soil water retention Medium
BP8 - Reduce pollutant sources Medium
BP9 - Intercept pollution pathways Medium
BP12 - Create aquatic habitat Medium
BP16 - Reduce peak temperature Medium
BP17 - Absorb and/or retain CO2 Medium
ES9 - Filtration of pollutants Medium
PO4 - Improving chemical status and priority substances Medium
PO5 - Improving quantitative status Medium
PO6 - Improving chemical status Medium
PO8 - Prevent groundwater status deterioration Medium
ES5 - Climate change adaptation and mitigation Medium
Case study(ies): 
Last updated: 08 Jun 2015 | Top