Water & watermanagement

LIFE GoodWater IP conference materials

LIFE GoodWater IP project organized the international conference “Let the waters flow: removal of dams, weirs and other obstacles for improvement of water quality and aquatic ecosystems in rivers” to introduce the implemented actions, plans and challenges in Latvia as well as to learn from good practices in other European countries. Conference was held on 20-21 September 2023 in Cēsis, Latvia.

Dams or other obstructions on rivers not only hinder fish migration, but also have a negative impact on the entire river ecosystem and biodiversity. In Latvia, there are more than 1200 obstacles on rivers that impacts significantly more than half of river water bodies. Restoration of the natural flow of rivers face not only technological and financial problems, but also administrative, legal and socio-cultural barriers, requiring comprehensive knowledge and co-operation among experts and various stakeholders.

During the first day (September 20)  a field trip was held to visit the North-eastern part of Latvia to see the sites where removal of dams or other obstructions have been already implemented (including Beja Dam on river Alūksne) or expected. On the second day (September 21) conference hold the plenary session and discussions on various aspects related for successful implementation of river ecosystem restoration projects and good practice examples.

Please see the conference agenda and presentations below:

02_LIFE GoodWater IP project_L.Fibiga
03_EU policy context_K.Veidemane
04_Dam Removal Europe_H.Wanningen_resized*
05_Ecological aspects_K.Abersons
06_Socio economic aspects_I.Alten
07_Dam removal_Lithuania_J.Leščinskaite
08_Local practical initiatives_Latvia_Liela Jugla

09_River connectivity Lithuania_A.Kubilius
10_Ecostreams for LIFE_O.Lundgren
11_Dam removal projects in Finland_J.Jyrkankallio-Mikkola
12_LIFE CleanEST project_A.Runnel

In organization of the conference LIFE GoodWater IP project was cooperating with the Dam Removal Europe to build the conference agenda and bring experts to share their knowledge on restoring the biodiversity of European Rivers.


The integrated project “Implementation of River Basin Management Plans of Latvia towards good surface water status” (LIFE GOODWATER IP, LIFE18 IPE/LV/000014) has received funding from the LIFE Programme of the European Union and the State Regional Development Agency. Please find out about the project: https://goodwater.lv/en

The overall ambition of Dam Removal Europe is to restore rivers in Europe that have high natural or cultural importance. Currently, there are many of these rivers in Europe that are fragmented by obsolete dams and weirs. By removing these barriers, we can once again have healthy free-flowing rivers full of fishes for all to benefit. Please find out about the project: https://damremoval.eu/

  • If you are interested to receive the full version of the presentation with videos included (total size of the presentation 1.13 GB), please contact Ms. Līga Kārkle (liga.karkle@bef.lv)