REFRESH: The Challenge


The future status of freshwater ecosystems is dependent on changes in land-use, pollution loading and water demand. In addition the measures that need to be taken to restore freshwater ecosystems to good ecological status or to sustain priority species need to be designed either to adapt to future climate change or to mitigate the effects of climate change. Building on a previous EU FP6 Project, Euro-limpacs, REFRESH is concerned with generating the scientific understanding that enables such measures to be implemented successfully.

REFRESH brings together rivers, lakes and wetlands scientists with expertise in hydrology, hydrochemistry and ecology, aquatic modelling and social science. View the Partners>


REFRESH Newsletter Spring 2014

Refresh Newsletter Spring 2014The final REFRESH newsletter is now available on the REFRESH file store at This focuses on the WP5 and WP6 work done at the REFRESH demonstration catchments.

Policy Brief 1: Zooplankton-an integrative Biological Quality Element for assessing the Ecological Status of lakes

SciPol1The EU Water Framework Directive environmental objectives are established on the basis of ecological status assessment, focused on five species groups (macroinvertebrates, fish, phytoplankton, macrophytes and phytobenthos). The assessments do not considering zooplankton.

Policy Brief 2: Riparian Forest can help mitigate climate warming effects in lowland temperate streams

SciPol2Stream water temperature is predicted to increase with climate change, and will affect stream biotic assemblages and ecosystem functioning, threatening the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive and Biodiversity Strategy 2020.

Policy Brief 3: Stricter nutrient loading limits help lake ecosystems to withstand climate change pressures

SciPol3Despite improvements in some regions, nutrient loading from agriculture remains a major pressure on Europe's freshwaters, resulting in widespread eutrophication.