We make a difference by improving water governance

Natural water systems are under unprecedented pressure from climate change, pollution, and overuse. Floods and droughts are on the rise, and the growing scarcity of clean water is of grave concern. 

EU water policy and regulations such as the Water Framework Directive and the Floods Directive reflect the importance of water governance. As presented below, North Sea Region projects are making headway towards a  sustainable water management.

Project highlights

Browse through the slideshow to discover key project achievements: 


Explore projects enhancing water management


BEGIN: Working with citizens to integrate water bodies in cities

BEGIN involves local citizens in climate-smart city planning with blue-green infrastruture. This includes lakes, rivers, and swales that can soften floods and contain excess water during periods of extreme rainfall. 



BwN: Unleashing natural water systems 

BwN trialled nature-based solutions to support climate resilience. Restoring natural water dynamics was part of the pilots.

Visit Building with Nature


CANAPE: Managing water the natural way

CANAPE restores degraded peatlands. Healthy peatlands are natural water purifyers prized by water companies. They also serve in buffering extreme drought and rainfall.  



CATCH: Helping midsize cities cope with weather and water extremes

CATCH developed a decision support tool for midsize cities to develop their climate strategy. The project showed that it is possible to  create new assets as part of tackling climate threats.



FAIR: Reinforcing flood defenses

Flood protection infrastruture is ageing while the risk of floods is growing. FAIR discovered cost-effective ways to upgrade and maintain dykes, sluices, dams, and floodgates. 

Visit FAIR


FRAMES: Handling floods from risk to recovery

FRAMES used multi-layered approach to tackling floods. This helped communities reduce flood damage risk, deal with disaster, and recover quickly post-flooding.  


Read their success story


IMMERSE: Managing upsteam pressures on estuaries 

One of the main threats to esturaries is the pollution and nutrient load of fresh water flowing into them. IMMERSE takes a 360 degree view of estuaries including upstream issues. 



NuReDrain: Capturing fertilisers in farm runoff

The project tackles a major threat to natural ecosystems: It develops filter technologies to stop fertilisers in agricultural run-off from reaching streams, rivers, and lakes.

Visit NuReDrain


SalFar: Saving fresh water through saline farming

SalFar conducted successful trials using brackish water to irrigate salt-tolerant varieties of food crops. This could help farmers save huge amounts of fresh water in the future.

Visit SalFar


Sullied Sediments: Tackling hazardous chemicals in waterways

The project explored harmful chemicals piling up at river beds where they pose a risk to the ecosystems. The project invented new methods to detect the toxins and render them harmless. 

Visit Sullied Sediments


TOPSOIL: Handling underground water in an unpredictable climate

TOPSOIL used advanced technology to map and predict the flow of water deep underground. This helped managers to prepare for changes due to global warming. 



WaterCoG: Involving stakeholders in water management

WaterCoG engaged local citizens, farmers, and businesses in water management. The partners showed that it is possible to join up local people and European water policy.

Visit WaterCoG