To achieve the objective of “good chemical and ecological status” in water bodies as stipulated by the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) in particular, a package of measures geared to improving the water bodies’ hydromorphology will be required. These upgrading measures can, to some extent, also be seen as an alternative to still more advanced measures in the field of wastewater treatment and stormwater treatment in the context of status improvement in water bodies. On account of the very high level of wastewater and stormwater treatment already achieved, additional efforts in this specific area would, as experience has shown, not only be extremely costly, but produce just moderate if not minor results. In an estimate of the funding required to achieve “good status” by hydromorphological change, undertaken for the Ruhr River Basin (German state of North Rhine-Westphalia), it was found that costs would be in the range of €200 million to €1 billion. This translates into inhabitant-specific costs of €100 to €500 per capita. All measures are to be put into practice within the scope of an integrated water body development concept, optimised with regard to space and time.

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