ICPR – International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine

Reactivation of overbank areas

The intermediate target for the reactivation of overbank areas to be achieved by 2005 was set to 20 km². By 2005, almost 80 km² of overbank areas were reactivated. Apart from the relocation of dikes, this surface also comprises the ecological flooding of flood retention areas behind the dikes. By the end of 2012 some further 42 km² have been reactivated, bringing the total surface of reactivated overbank areas to almost 122 km². Thus, in spite of the density of uses along the main stream of the Rhine and including newly created, ecologically flooded retention areas, the target of 160 km² set for 2020 seems to be achievable.

The entire watershed of the Rhine is suited for these measures, but, due to natural conditions along the High and Middle Rhine, possibilities are very limited in these river sections.