Increasing the retention capacity of existing channels and floodplains by restoration

  • Description
  • Fields of action
  • Synergies
  • Good practice examples
  • References

The measures reside in terrain modifications of channels and floodplain to increase their ability to slow down the runoff and to create inundation zones so that potential consequences of surface runoff would be reduced. They can include individual modifications that are generally termed “restoration”. Specifically, modification of the channel’s course, branching of streams, channel stabilisation, restoration of oxbows, accompanying riparian vegetation. The effect of the stream modification itself is not decisive in terms of surface runoff. However, if the modification is a part of a set of other measures in the contributing area, it can certainly play a positive role in slowing down the runoff and reduction of peak discharge. In general, the goal is to bring the stream as close as possible to the near-natural state.

Fields of action Settlement areas,Watercourses
Additionally to flood risk reduction by storing surface runoff, the measure has medium or high possible benefits for the following biophysical impacts and ecosystem services: Increase infiltration and/or groundwater recharge


  • Office International de l’Eau (2015): Natural Water Retention Measures, URL: (19.03.2020): floodplain restoration and management

Tomáš Just, AOPK ČR