Privacy Policy

It is Open Rivers Programme’s policy to respect your privacy and comply with any applicable law and regulation regarding any personal information we may collect about you, including across our website,, and other sites we own and operate.

This policy is effective as of 20 September 2021 and was last updated on 20 September 2021.

Information We Collect

Information we collect includes both information you knowingly and actively provide us when using or participating in any of our services and promotions, and any information automatically sent by your devices in the course of accessing our products and services.

Log Data

When you visit our website, our servers may automatically log the standard data provided by your web browser. It may include your device’s Internet Protocol (IP) address, your browser type and version, the pages you visit, the time and date of your visit, the time spent on each page, other details about your visit, and technical details that occur in conjunction with any errors you may encounter.

Please be aware that while this information may not be personally identifying by itself, it may be possible to combine it with other data to personally identify individual persons.

Collection and Use of Information

We may collect personal information from you when you do any of the following on our website:

  • Contact us via email, social media, or on any similar technologies
  • When you mention us on social media

We may collect, hold, use, and disclose information for the following purposes, and personal information will not be further processed in a manner that is incompatible with these purposes:

Please be aware that we may combine information we collect about you with general information or research data we receive from other trusted sources.

Security of Your Personal Information

When we collect and process personal information, and while we retain this information, we will protect it within commercially acceptable means to prevent loss and theft, as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use, or modification.

Although we will do our best to protect the personal information you provide to us, we advise that no method of electronic transmission or storage is 100% secure, and no one can guarantee absolute data security. We will comply with laws applicable to us in respect of any data breach.

You are responsible for selecting any password and its overall security strength, ensuring the security of your own information within the bounds of our services.

How Long We Keep Your Personal Information

We keep your personal information only for as long as we need to. This time period may depend on what we are using your information for, in accordance with this privacy policy. If your personal information is no longer required, we will delete it or make it anonymous by removing all details that identify you.

However, if necessary, we may retain your personal information for our compliance with a legal, accounting, or reporting obligation or for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific, or historical research purposes or statistical purposes.

Children’s Privacy

We do not aim any of our products or services directly at children under the age of 13, and we do not collect personal information about children under 13.

If we receive personal information about you from a third party, we will protect it as set out in this privacy policy. If you are a third party providing personal information about somebody else, you represent and warrant that you have such person’s consent to provide the personal information to us.

If you have previously agreed to us using your personal information for direct marketing purposes, you may change your mind at any time. We will provide you with the ability to unsubscribe from our email-database or opt out of communications. Please be aware we may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity.

If you believe that any information we hold about you is inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant, or misleading, please contact us using the details provided in this privacy policy. We will take reasonable steps to correct any information found to be inaccurate, incomplete, misleading, or out of date.

If you believe that we have breached a relevant data protection law and wish to make a complaint, please contact us using the details below and provide us with full details of the alleged breach. We will promptly investigate your complaint and respond to you, in writing, setting out the outcome of our investigation and the steps we will take to deal with your complaint. You also have the right to contact a regulatory body or data protection authority in relation to your complaint.

Use of Cookies

We use “cookies” to collect information about you and your activity across our site. A cookie is a small piece of data that our website stores on your computer, and accesses each time you visit, so we can understand how you use our site. This helps us serve you content based on preferences you have specified.

Limits of Our Policy

Our website may link to external sites that are not operated by us. Please be aware that we have no control over the content and policies of those sites, and cannot accept responsibility or liability for their respective privacy practices.

Changes to This Policy

At our discretion, we may change our privacy policy to reflect updates to our organisation processes, current acceptable practices, or legislative or regulatory changes. If we decide to change this privacy policy, we will post the changes here at the same link by which you are accessing this privacy policy.

If required by law, we will get your permission or give you the opportunity to opt in to or opt out of, as applicable, any new uses of your personal information.

Contact Us

For any questions or concerns regarding your privacy, you may contact us using the following details:

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Restoring 50 km of connectivity in the Côa River, Portugal

This project focuses on completing the activities necessary to prepare removing three barriers to restore the natural and cultural heritage of the Côa Valley.


The Greater Côa Valley is a culturally rich and biodiverse area close to the border between Portugal and Spain, in the district of Guarda in Portugal. Its broad range of habitats and species make it one of the most exciting wild areas of Portugal. The rural exodus and consequent abandonment of marginal land present an unprecedented, large-scale opportunity for rewilding and the comeback of wildlife, with more than 210 species of vertebrates already present, including several keystone species.

The Côa River flows 140 km from Serra das Mesas in the Malcata Mountains running into the Douro River and connecting Malcata Nature Reserve to the Douro International Park. Along its course, there are a great diversity of habitats and conditions, from the rich riparian forest and large flood plains in the south to spectacular gorges home from cliff nesting raptors and vultures, in the north.  Its basin, mostly granitic, covers an area of 2520 km2 and comprises 25 sub-basins. This project is focusing on the Côa River and the Massueime Stream tributary.

In the upper Côa, there are more than 80 sites of rock art and around 1200 engraved outcrops, including the most important collection of Palaeolithic open-air figurations, which led to the creation of the Côa Valley Archaeological Park in 1996 with the mission of managing, preserving, researching and showing to the public the rock art. The Great Route of the Côa Valley runs along the entire river allowing visitors to discover the spectacular natural, archaeological and cultural heritage of the region.

Project context and opportunity

In the early 90s, dam construction in the Upper Côa started but was suspended after the discovery of several ancient rock-art sites. Civil society claimed the significance of conserving the sites and saved the most important collection of Palaeolithic open-air art from being flooded. The great artistic and scientific value of the engravings earned recognition by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1998. One year later, the upper Côa and Massueime rivers were included in the Natura 2000 Network as a Special Protection Area due to the importance of the river canyon for cliff-nesting birds, such as the Egyptian vulture, black stork and the golden eagle.

However, the obsolete walls of the dam, today known as Ensecadeiras do Côa, remain. They obstruct the connection of the Côa River and the Massueime Stream to the Douro River. Ensecadeiras do Côa, and the other smaller barriers targeted by this project, are identified by the National Water Council as priority obsolete barriers to be removed and an aim in the Catchment Plan of Douro River. Removing these structures is both a symbol of civil society power and the recognition of the natural and cultural heritage of the Côa Valley.

At a glance

Country Portugal
River Côa and Massueime
Potential km to be opened 50
Key habitats cliffs (used for nesting), riparian galleries of Flueggea tinctoria and riparian forest of willow and alder
Focal species Unio crassus, Ciconia nigra, Anguilla Anguilla, Chondrostoma polylepis, Squalius alburnoides, Rutillus arcasii
Project type Preparatory work
Project status Ongoing

Project aims

This project focuses on completing those activities that are necessary to prepare the removal of three barriers, the two walls of Ensecadeiras do Côa and two weirs in the Côa River, from a legal, technical, ecological and social perspective. These activities include an environmental assessment, a civil engineering feasibility study, studies to determine sediment-related effects of barrier removal as well as measuring fish diversity and dynamics to determine fish populations in the impounded area and below the dam, assess the effects of removal on native species and the potential risk invasion by exotic fish species. Relevant stakeholders will be engaged to assess the social and economic impacts of removing the barriers. If proven feasible, removing these barriers would restore connectivity in approximately 50 km of the Côa River and Massueime Stream, including recovering the connectivity of both rivers with the Douro.

This project also aims to advance dam removal in Portugal, raise awareness of its need and disseminate guidelines on replicating it in other catchments and therefore contribute to meet national targets for the EU Restoration Law and the Water Framework Directive.

Project partners

Rewilding Portugal

Universidade de Trás-Os-Montes de Alto Douro

Rewilding Portugal

Latest news updates

UK Dam Removal Conference – May 18-19

2022 Dam Removal Award Nominees

Galaxes Weir in Portugal – demolition begins