WFD Ecological flows: Using Art. 14 (France) “Rhone flow restoration”

WFD Ecological flows: Using Art. 14 (France) “Rhone flow restoration”


Executive summary

The physical restoration of the French Rhône River started in 1999 and has combined so far minimum flow increases (by a factor up to 10) in four reaches bypassed by artificial channels (total length 47 km) and the dredging and/or reconnection of 24 floodplain channels.
Due to the original characteristics of the Rhône restoration at the international level (strong physical changes in multiple sites; data-rich situation before and after restoration; collaborating stakeholders) the project was a unique occasion to test quantitative ecological predictions.

This case study provides evidence of the effects of flow restoration on habitats, fish and invertebrates in multiple sites. Observed changes confirmed quantitative predictions. The case study also provides general lessons in terms of monitoring strategies, social processes associated with the restoration, effects of restoration in a context of global warming, and effectiveness of bioassessment tools.

General information

Member State(s): France 

RBD(s): Rhone

Location: French Rhone 

Time period: 1999-2014 


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