The programme offers three different categories of grants with the majority of support directed to preparing for and removing small dams from rivers.
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 currently divided into four subcategories. Category A1 is intended for geographical 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. Barrier Identification and prioritisation
Supporting the identification and strategic selection of small dams in a catchment that could later be removed via a grant from the programme. 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.
A2. Dam removal: pre-demolition
Supporting the development of essential, preparatory work required to remove a dam that could later be supported by the programme. Examples of pre-demolition work include feasibility studies, preparation of technical design documents, securing permissions and permits.
A3. Dam removal: demolition
Demolition of a barrier. No preparatory work required / preparatory work already funded by third party.
A4. Dam removal: demolition
Demolition of a barrier. Preparatory work previously funded by the programme (i.e. a grantee successfully completed an A1 or A2 grant and the barrier is now ready for removal).
These grants will support preparatory work when funding for the dam removal (demolition) can be sourced from an alternative funder.
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.
These grants are not linked to specific removals but support interventions that result in dam removal becoming more widely accepted and implemented by others, which results in more rivers being restored across Europe.
Category C grants provide support in three strategic areas. Applicants may apply for projects that contribute to one or more of the following:
Knowledge development and dissemination
To support the analysis of existing information, the development and sharing of best practices, and/or the generation and dissemination of new information that fills knowledge gaps.
To support work that ensures that dam removal is incorporated into EU and national policies, to support policy implementation, and for policy makers to better understand and support dam removal.
Communications and awareness raising
To support targeted communications that help to build enthusiasm and highlight the benefits of dam removal.