Department Systems Analysis, Integrated Assessment and Modelling

REFORM – Restoring rivers for effective catchment management

The overall aim of the EU project REFORM is to provide a framework for improving the success of hydromorphological restoration measures to reach, in a cost-effective manner, target ecological status or potential of rivers.
Success is defined as being hydromorphologically sustainable, ecologically effective, and exploiting the full potential within the socio-economic setting.
Cost-effective implies an optimisation of both ecosystem health and the goods and services that natural, modified and restored rivers, floodplains and connected groundwater provide.
To achieve this aim, the REFORM consortium develops protocols and procedures to monitor the biological response to hymorphological change with greater precision, to support the design of programmes of restoration and mitigation measures for the Water Framework Directive, and to integrate restoration better with socio-economic activities.

The Eawag contributions to this project are

  • to carry-out a Swiss case study at the rivers Thur and Töss (see papers below by Paillex et al., a study by Logar et al. on economic valuation of rehabilitation (in preparation), and a study on the application of multiple criteria decision analysis techniques to support river rehabilitation decisions by Reichert et al. (in preparation));
  • to contribute to the methodological development for REFORM (see paper below by Reichert, Langhans, Lienert and Schuwirth 2015); and
  • to contribute to the tools development for REFORM (see paper below by Reichert, Schuwirth and Langhans 2013).



Paillex, A., Reichert, P., Lorenz, A.W. and Schuwirth, N. Mechanistic modeling for predicting the effects of restoration, invasion and pollution on benthic invertebrate communities in rivers. Freshwater Biology (in press)

Paillex, A., Schuwirth, N., Lorenz, A.W., Januschke, K., Peter, A. and Reichert, P. Integrating and extending ecological river assessment: concept and test with two restoration projects. Ecological Indicators 2, 131-141, 2017.

Reichert, P., Langhans, S., Lienert, J. and Schuwirth, N. The Conceptual Foundation of Environmental Decision Support. Journal of Environmental Management 154, 316-332, 2015. (open access)

Reichert, P., Schuwirth, N. and Langhans, S. Constructing, evaluating and visualizing value and utility functions for decision support. Environmental Modelling & Software 46, 283-291, 2013.



Dr. Amael Paillex
Dr. Nele Schuwirth
Prof. Dr. Peter Reichert