Conservation, management and creation of new standing water bodies

Conservation, management and creation of new standing water bodies
Standing water bodies include a wide variety of aquatic habitats such as lakes, pools, ponds and tarns. © Rainer Sturm/

Involved sectors

Agriculture, Forestry, Hunting, Spatial planning, Nature protection, Local population/citizens

Affected habitats



Standing water bodies include a wide variety of aquatic habitats such as lakes, pools, ponds and tarns. They are refuges for rare protected aquatic plants and animals (amphibians, reptiles, birds, etc.) and are therefore key elements of a biotope network. At appropriate sites, they can be networked with other wetlands and with flowing waters. Standing water bodies are often drained or filled in so that they can be used for other purposes, making their conservation particularly important. Management interventions may be helpful in keeping smaller standing water bodies clear; they may also be conducive to various siltation stages and beneficial to habitats and the transformation of nutrient-rich and silted-up water bodies into near-natural ecosystems. The creation of standing water bodies (e.g. as protected areas for amphibians) is also an option, although conservation should take precedence over the creation of new small water bodies.


Impact in particular on Reptiles, Amphibians, Birds, Insects, Fish
Ecological impact  
Improvement or preservation of habitats Use of appropriate management measures (e.g. creation of buffer zones against fertiliser and pesticide inputs, thinning-out of riparian woodland) improves habitat quality.
Element of ecological network Standing water bodies are important elements of a functioning network of different wetlands (e.g. peat bogs, headwaters, humid forests, etc.) as a stepping stone system consisting of near-natural wetland biotopes.
Time of realisation for measure Weeks: Depending on starting conditions, the impact of appropriate management measures may occur within the short term; when creating new ponds, a number of key criteria must be adhered to.
Impact scope Local (municipality): In general, the impact is local but depending on the connectivity situation, it may also be regional in scope.


Implementation period Months: Most management measures at standing water bodies can be implemented in the short term. Larger interventions in a water body's internal structure (restoration and remediation) requires more comprehensive planning.
Frequency Recurring: Most maintenance measures must be repeated.

Economic and legal aspects

Costs Medium (10'000-100'000 EUR): Costs vary considerably depending on the type of measure being implemented. Costs of creating new standing water bodies are estimated at approx. € 20,000 (2000 m²) - 70,000, depending on size.
Socio-economic impacts Low: Intact standing water bodies contribute to an attractive and diverse landscape appearance (tourism).
Sources of financing Public: local, Public: regional, Public: national, Public: European
Legal situation Management measures can be supported from various funding programmes (e.g. contract-based nature conservation). Payments amount to around € 450-600/ha. Near-natural lakes are generally legally protected nature conservation areas.

Further information

Evaluation Management measures at standing water bodies have long made an important contribution to the conservation, management and development of ecologically valuable areas. Relevant experience is available from the responsible authorities/nature conservation associations.
Information Other: The various nature conservation agencies and organisations (NABU, BUND, LBV, Pro Natura etc.). More information and examples can also be accessed at:

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