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:

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.