Framework for Improving Water Balance and Nutrient Mitigation by Applying Small Water Retention Measures (FramWat)

Framework for Improving Water Balance and Nutrient Mitigation by Applying Small Water Retention Measures (FramWat)

Source of funding

European Commission

Name of client/donor

Warsaw University of Life Science (SGGW)

Overall project value

EUR 159,996


July 2017 – June 2020

Beneficiary countries

Austria | Croatia | Hungary | Poland | Slovakia | Slovenia

Number of staff


By 2015, the ecological status of surface water in the EU had improved by 10 percent compared to 2009. However, there is still a lot to be done in order to achieve the better status of fauna and flora, along with favourable hydrological and chemical characteristics. Various types of measures, referred to collectively as natural (small) water retention measures (N[S]WRM), can make a significant contribution to solving environmental problems such as hydrological extremes, nutrient transportation and biodiversity loss.

The FramWat project is co-funded by the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Programme, which encourages cooperation on shared challenges in Central Europe. 

The FramWat project aims to strengthen the common regional framework for flood, drought and pollution mitigation by increasing the buffer capacity of the landscape. This will be done by the systematic use of N(S)WRM. Project partners will develop methods that translate existing knowledge about the N(S)WRM approach into river basin management practice. This will result in improved water balance, decreased sediment transport and enhanced nutrient re-circulation. The project will provide decision makers with appropriate tools for incorporating N(S)WRM into the next cycle of river basin management plans (RBMPs). It will also promote, and offer guidance on, the horizontal integration of different planning frameworks. The FramWat project builds on previous developments in identifying new and innovative solutions in a systematic way, and follows a collective and transnational integrated approach, bearing in mind that river management does not observe national boundaries.

Firstly, a valorisation method will be developed for identifying locations in a river basin where N(S)WRM are needed. The method will be based on a multi-criteria analysis of topographical, hydrological, meteorological and economic data. Users will be able to populate the GIS software with their own data, and, after the relevant calculations, review the resulting maps and statistics.

Secondly, innovative methods and tools (e.g. a decision support system) will be developed, allowing river basin authorities to evaluate the cumulative effectiveness of N(S)WRM on a river basin scale.

The final step will be the preparation of guidelines that will provide decision makers with policy options and a cost analysis for the implementation of N(S)WRM. The FramWat project supports bottom-up dialogue with all stakeholders in the search for positive solutions to mitigate the negative impacts of floods and droughts and prevent water pollution in order to preserve the natural heritage of Central Europe. The development of a systematic approach through transnational cooperation will strengthen the N(S)WRM planning process and serve as an instrument for the fulfilment of obligations under the Water Framework Directive.

FramWat will create a set of outputs to be used by water authorities. Five pilot actions to test the effectiveness of N(S)WRM will be applied in six pilot areas. Six action plans for the integration of N(S)WRM into RBMPs will be developed for each country, based on the results of the pilot actions and stakeholders’ input.

As one of the project partners, the REC is providing the following services:

  • Publishing
  • Communication and dissemination
  • Event organisation
  • Awareness raising

Project Publications