IDES Improving water quality in the Danube river and its tributaries by integrative floodplain management based on Ecosystem Services

Nutrient loads transported by the Danube affect its ecological status and have to be reduced, active floodplains can have a significant retention potential. But floodplains are subject to multiple human uses which strongly affect water quality of rivers. So far, these uses were sectorally managed (e.g. flood retention, nature conservation, agriculture), rarely regarding water quality and interactions between sectors. The current DTP-Danube Floodplain Project (DFP) links attempts of improving flood retention and restoration, while water quality is not yet in focus. IDESproject aims to add water quality targets to this effort and improve water quality by developing an integrative floodplain management based on Ecosystem Services (ES). The ES concept in the Danube region is actually not used to proactively manage different activities holistically. The use of a River Ecosystem Service Index in Germany has even shown that water management can be significantly improved by the identification of synergies between the various ES, which reflect the various sectoral interests and targets.
Hence, existing ES evaluation methods in the Danube region with a focus on water quality issues will first be harmonized to the IDES tool and adjusted according to data availability. A spatial analysis will document the actual drivers of water quality along the Danube and its tributaries and of relevant ES in their floodplains. In five pilot areas IDES Danube will be applied: the effect of water quality management scenarios on relevant ES will be assessed in order to derive an optimized concept. Key actors will be trained in using the IDES tool for water quality management, a manual on the implementation of the tool will be elaborated. Based on the results, national action plans with prioritized areas and a joint strategy will be developed to improve water quality at transnational level regarding the Danube river basin management plan and targets of PA4 and PA6 of the EUSDR.
Improving water quality in the Danube river and its tributaries by integrative floodplain management based on Ecosystem Services
Start date
End date
Budget in Euro
Overall: 1951170
ERDF Contribution: 1581388.45
IPA Contribution: 77106.05
ENI Contribution: 0
Call number
Call 3
Environment and culture responsible Danube region
Specific objective
Strengthen transnational water management and flood risk prevention


Filename Date of upload
IDES_Flyer 10-11-2020 13:09:56
IDES_Factsheet 10-11-2020 13:09:06
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Project Partners

Name Type Email Country
Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt Lead partner Germany
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna ERDF partner Austria
Middle Tisza District Water Directorate ERDF partner Hungary
WWF Romania ERDF partner Romania
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Project News

    - 25-02-2021

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  • IDES - Three Work Packages, one single aim: development of the IDES tool
    - 18-01-2021
    Three Work Packages, one single aim: development of the IDES tool

    During the two-and-a-half-year implementation timeline of IDES project, the actions of three technical work packages will focus on the following: In Work Package 1 there is a focus on the analysis of the actual situation of water quality and...

  • IDES - Human benefit from healthy ecosystems
    - 13-11-2020
    Human benefit from healthy ecosystems

    The basic idea behind the ecosystem service approach is connecting the needs of humans with nature, both mutually influence each other. Human activities have a direct or indirect impact on nature. Conversely, natural events can affect society and...

  • IDES - How floodplains clean the water of the Danube
    - 29-09-2020
    How floodplains clean the water of the Danube

    How do floodplain areas along the Danube contribute to improving water quality and how can diverse interests be taken into account in their management across national borders? These questions are being researched by a consortium funded by the...

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