The programme offers three different categories of grants with the majority of support directed to preparing for and removing small dams from rivers.
Category A: Programme supported dam removals
These grants will support a range of interventions that lead to the removal of small dams in catchments that offer the highest potential for river restoration and ecosystem recovery.
Category A is divided into five subcategories. Categories A1 and A2 are focussed on supporting project development in areas that offer very high potential for the restoration of river flow and biodiversity (ecologically valuable areas) but where there is currently low capacity, resources, and attention to dam removal.
|A1|| Capacity building and advocacy work
Supporting activities carried out at the national, regional, or local level that will remove obstacles to dam removal, help foster a culture of dam removal, and build capacity for dam removal applications to later be submitted to the programme.
Supporting the identification and strategic selection of small dams that could later be removed via a grant from the programme. If it does not exist already, an important output of the grant should be an inventory of barriers (including location, height, width, photos). These grants may also support outreach to the local community to explore removal potential.
|A3||Other preparatory work leading to a dam removal supported by programme
Supporting the development of essential work required to prepare for the removal of a dam, for example, feasibility studies, preparation of technical design documents, securing permissions and permits.
Demolition of a barrier. No preparatory work required / preparatory work already funded by third party.
Demolition of a barrier. Preparatory work previously funded by the programme.
Category B: Enabling others to remove dams
This grant will support preparatory work when funding for the dam removal (demolition) can be sourced from an alternative funder.
|B1||Other preparatory work leading to a dam removal funded by a third party
Supporting the development of essential work required to prepare for the removal of a dam, for example, feasibility studies, preparation of technical design documents, securing permissions and permits. The completion of the work will result in the dam being removed by a third party.
Category C: Enabling the European dam removal movement
These grants will not be linked to specific removals but will support interventions that ensure that dam removal becomes more widely accepted and implemented to restore more rivers across Europe. Projects should ideally result in outcomes that have practical applicability to any European country, foster innovative partnerships between different sectors and enable the Open Rivers Programme to be more effective in meeting its mission.
Category C is divided into three subcategories.
|C1|| Capturing and disseminating knowledge on lessons and best practice|
Supporting the analysis of existing information or the generation and dissemination of new information that fills knowledge gaps. The outputs of these grants will deliver information resources to enable evidence-based decision-making and the formulation of best-practice standards.
Supporting advocacy work that further enables and promotes dam removals, to mobilise the necessary resources, and to ensure that benefits of dam removal are well understood.
Supporting targeted communications that helps to build enthusiasm and dispel opposition towards removals, supporting public participation, demonstration of best practices and citizen science.