Project preparation

This section shares resources that are helpful in selecting dam removal projects.

A European national river continuity restoration policies review

This STOWA/ECRR study, investigates selected national European river continuity restoration policies. It provides information and knowledge for making, improving and updating new requirements, laws and regulations for river continuity restoration.

Guidance on the process for selecting barriers within European catchments

This document provides a seven-step approach for identifying and prioritising barrier removal projects to support project management, identify funding opportunities, and perform outreach/communication.

Best practices for selecting barriers within European catchments

A review of the main strategies and recommendations available to prioritize barriers for removal and mitigation.

A practitioner’s toolkit for dam removal

An online toolkit providing resources for communicating the benefits, understanding finance options and an overview of the process and issues that drive a dam removal project, and key issues to consider in design and construction.

Dam removal prioritisation framework (Finland)

While Finland has no prioritisation tool currently, the Finnish Environmental Institute (SYKE) developed a framework that guides project managers (NGO, Dam owner, member of government) to identifying projects that are feasible and valuable for restoration.

The practitioners guide to hydropower removal (USA example)

American Rivers and the Hydropower Reform Coalition have crafted a detailed guide for dam owners and practitioners involved in the removal of hydropower dams regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This guide, designed for dam owners facing challenges that outweigh the benefits of ownership, delves into the intricacies of license surrender, decommissioning, and dam removal processes for hydropower dams.


This paper introduces DAMROS – Dam Removal Opportunity Score, (developed by Garcia de Leaniz et al, 2021) to support the Open Rivers Programme to shortlist applications for dam removal grants. It explains how DAMROS is used by the programme, outlines its limitations, and where opportunities lie for further development.