, Volume 478, Issue 1-3, pp 131-148

Towards a decision support system for stream restoration in the Netherlands: an overview of restoration projects and future needs

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Abstract

Stream restoration is one of the answers to the lowland stream deterioration. For making proper choices in stream restoration; one firstly needs to understand the complex spatial and temporal interactions between physical, chemical and biological components in the stream ecosystem. Several ecological concepts on the four dimensions, scale and hierarchy in a stream ecosystem are integrated into the 5-S-model. This model provides the theoretical backbone of the first outline of a decision support system for stream restoration. Stream restoration is developing fast in the Netherlands. In 1991, 70 projects were counted, in 1993 there were 170, and this number increased in 1998 to 206. Positive signs in this increase in the number of stream restoration projects are the increase in the amount of money, in background studies, in improvement of the selection process of stretches to be tackled, and the broadening of the objectives and measures. Negative signs are amongst others that measures often deal only with stream hydrology and structures in-stream. The catchment takes no part. Furthermore, bottlenecks often relate to finances and agreement between people and/or organisations. Finally, the first steps towards a decision support system for stream restoration are made. The system presented provides only information based on which measures should be taken. `Where and how' these measures need to be taken remains a challenge for the future.