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Many environments across Europe are in a poor state with climate change expected to further aggravate the situation. This degradation poses severe threats to economic prosperity, human wellbeing and social peace. Ecosystem restoration is key to improving the situation and freshwaters, in particular, play an important role. The MERLIN project represents one of EU’s largest ever research projects (€22 million), and seeks to enhance restoration efforts and effectiveness by developing a range of digital tools designed for different target audiences contributing to the upscaling of restoration.

  • Project type: R&D

  • Place: Europe

  • Partners: Aarhus University and MERLIN partners

  • Funder: EU Horizon 2020


Upscaling of efforts that are planned and implemented a local scale to all of Europe is a huge challenge. Approaches and information that can support the local planning and implementation must therefore be applicable across all of Europe.


In this project, WaterITech is contributing with formatting of European-wide datasets and insights for application of the open-source SWAT+ eco-hydrological model. The model application workflow is completely scalable and can be applied for any location in Europe based on the open-source model and the European-wide datasets. WaterITech is also working closely with partners in MERLIN to integrate key results and maps into a web-platform, which can provide non-experts access to easily interpretable restoration scenario results so they can make decisions on how best to proceed with local implementation.



Some of the strongest minds in Europe are collaborating to help decision makers across the European Union to make informed decisions about the best approaches for restoring ecosystems in their area. The approaches and tools developed can provide insights into the expected effects of different types of restoration on biodiversity and an array of ecosystem services, including tradeoffs between these.

Want to know more?

Contact project lead Dr. Dennis Trolle to learn more about the project or learn how we may be able to assist you.

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Dennis Trolle, Ph.D.

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