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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Sustainable lake restoration: From challenges to solutions

Tammeorg, Olga; Chorus, Ingrid; Spears, Bryan; Noges, Peeter; Nuernberg, Gertrud K.; Tammeorg, Priit; Sondergaard, Martin; Jeppesen, Erik; Paerl, Hans; Huser, Brian; Horppila, Jukka; Jilbert, Tom; Budzynska, Agnieszka; Dondajewska-Pielka, Renata; Goldyn, Ryszard; Haasler, Sina; Hellsten, Seppo; Harkonen, Laura H.; Kiani, Mina; Kozak, Anna;
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Sustainable management of lakes requires us to overcome ecological, economic, and social challenges. These challenges can be addressed by focusing on achieving ecological improvement within a multifaceted, co-beneficial context. In-lake restoration measures may promote more rapid ecosystem responses than is feasible with catchment measures alone, even if multiple interventions are needed. In particular, we identify restoration methods that support the overarching societal target of a circular economy through the use of nutrients, sediments, or biomass that are removed from a lake, in agriculture, as food, or for biogas production. In this emerging field of sustainable restoration techniques, we show examples, discuss benefits and pitfalls, and flag areas for further research and development. Each lake should be assessed individually to ensure that restoration approaches will effectively address lake-specific problems, do not harm the target lake or downstream ecosystems, are cost-effective, promote delivery of valuable ecosystem services, minimize conflicts in public interests, and eliminate the necessity for repeated interventions. Achieving optimal, sustainable results from lake restoration relies on multidisciplinary research and close interactions between environmental, social, political, and economic sectors. This article is categorized under: Science of Water > Water Quality Water and Life > Stresses and Pressures on Ecosystems Water and Life > Conservation, Management, and Awareness


sustainable lake restoration; socio-economic benefits; eutrophication; nutrient recycling; cathment and in-lake measures

Published in

WIREs Water
2024, Volume: 11, number: 2, article number: e1689
Publisher: WILEY

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
    Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

    Publication identifier


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